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Record Donation Planned This Week to Gulf Coast Charities From 2016 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic PGA Tour Champions Event


Professional golf tournament's Birdies for Charity program will award over $200,000 to 24 non-profits who provide a variety of community-based services to individuals and families

Gulfport, Miss. (May 26, 2016) – The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic this week plans to award more than $200,000 to 24 non-profit groups who provide community-based services to individuals and families along the Gulf Coast.

The funds will be awarded to representatives of the charities by tournament officials and executives from C Spire, the Mississippi-based telecommunications company that has served as presenting sponsor of the professional golfing event for the last three years.

A special program is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday, May 27 at the Knight Non-Profit Center, 11975 Seaway Road in Gulfport. The awards are being presented through the Birdies for Charity program, which is designed to help local non-profits with their fundraising efforts.

The 2016 program raised $217,118 for charities, more than twice the amount raised in previous years. The amount includes a special $25,000 contribution from C Spire to be shared equally among those charities raising more than $1,000.

Charities receiving funds include the Humane Society of South Mississippi, Gulf Coast Symphony, Youth for Christ, Bethel Free Health Clinic, Fourth Day Ministries, Disability Connection, Back Bay Mission, Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District, Methodist Senior Services, Fatherless and Widows, Friends of Jackson County Animal Shelter, Visions of Home and El Pueblo. 11 other non-profits also received funds from the program.

"I'm proud to be associated with an event that works hard to give back to the community," said MGRC Foundation Chairman Frank Bertucci. "A great deal of support from local business goes into the tournament and it is gratifying to watch our investment grow and directly impact the organizations and causes that make our community so special."

MGRC officials said the tournament's impact on local charities continues to grow, approaching over $1.5 million since it started seven years ago. "It's an honor for our tournament to be able to contribute to so many great causes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said tournament director Steve Nieman. "Our impact is only going to grow. We're just getting started."

C Spire officials said support for the region and the tournament is one way to show its appreciation for the important role that Gulf Coast businesses and consumers have played in the company's success.

"We're excited to celebrate a great program that supports the economic vitality and the quality of life in south Mississippi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which have been so important to the success and growth of our company," said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire.

In addition to helping charities, the tournament has generated over $90 million in direct economic impact on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since its inception in 2010. The three-day tournament airs on the Golf Channel every year, exposing the region and its attractions to a live national and international television audience.

About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at For more information about C Spire, visit or follow us on Facebook at or Twitter at