Zach Johnson Foundation Announces Cancellation of the ZJF Classic on July 27 due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
The Zach Johnson Foundation: Making a difference for children and families in need
July 1, 2020, Cedar Rapids, IA – PGA TOUR golfer and Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson announced today that the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic tournament will be canceled for 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event was originally scheduled to be held on Monday, July 27. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution to protect all of those involved with the event. The Foundation announced earlier this summer that the event would be closed off to the general public with no volunteers or vendors.
“The health and safety of our participants, Zach, other celebrities/pros and our staff has always been and continues to be our top priority. The Foundation’s Board of Directors had many thoughtful and lengthy conversations about the event and considered every option. In light of the increasing concern over the rise in cases in Linn County and other parts of Iowa and the U.S., we couldn’t in good conscience host the event and put people at risk. This was a very difficult decision to make, but we do feel it’s in the best interest for all involved,” said Pat Cobb, Chairman of the Zach Johnson Foundation.
The Foundation held a Virtual Gala on June 6, which raised more than $180,000. The event featured a silent auction, musical entertainment and more. “We consider our first ever Virtual Gala a huge success. Like many others, we’ve had to pivot in different ways over the last several months and we are happy with the turnout and the money raised. Now that we’ve made the official decision to cancel this year’s event, our team will shift our focus to finding creative ways to fundraise given the limitations COVID-19 is presenting us with. It’s important to the Zach Johnson Foundation that our support continues at a time when our students and families need us most,” said Jenny Becker, Executive Director of the Zach Johnson Foundation.
The modification of the Gala and cancellation of the tournament will leave a significant revenue gap for the Foundation, however, the Board of Directors and staff are diligently working on additional ways in which we can raise more funds to try to make up for this enormous loss. The money raised during the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic supports Kids on Course, a program that serves more than 1,000 students in the Cedar Rapids Community School District throughout the year. Kids on Course is based at Grant, Harrison, Hoover and Van Buren Elementary Schools, Roosevelt and Wilson Middle Schools, and Jefferson and Kennedy High Schools. In August 2020, the program will be expanding Taylor Elementary as well. Kids on Course provides tutoring, enrichment, parent engagement strategies and health supports to put students on a path to post-secondary education.
The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped so much, but it hasn’t stopped the Foundation’s mission for a single day. Kids on Course has been and continues to provide virtual mentoring, is hosting virtual summer camps and so much more. Through the Foundation’s partnership with HACAP, the Kids on Course staff have delivered 2,857 food boxes to those in need. More than 20 Zach Johnson Foundation AmeriCorps members are serving at the nine school meal sites across the Cedar Rapids Community School District. To date, more than 368,000 meals have been distributed since the meal program started after spring break.
“The decision to cancel this year’s Classic was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to be a part of because of how important the money we raise is to the Kids on Course program. But the health concerns for all those involved during these unprecedented times and the risk associated with COVID-19 is just too great. In the end our responsibility for the health and well-being of all those connected with the Classic had to be our number one priority. We look forward to making the 2021 Zach Johnson Foundation Classic the best to date,” said Johnson.
For more information about what the Foundation and Kids on Course are doing to help support our students and families during the pandemic, please visit https://kidsoncoursecr.com/covid19. For more information on ways to help and get involved, contact Jenny Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org).