Illinois PGA Foundation to Host 10th Anniversary Birdies for Charity Event

Aug 14, 2020

Patrick Mannelly, Retired Chicago Bears Long Snapper and Host of Golf360 on NBC Sports Chicago, to Serve as Celebrity Ambassador
GLENVIEW, Ill. – July 30, 2020 – The Illinois PGA Foundation announced today that it will host the 10th anniversary of its Birdies for Charity fundraising event on Tuesday, September 8, in conjunction with the Illinois PGA Section at River Forest Country Club in Elmhurst, Ill. The Central Illinois PGA Chapter will host its third annual event at Country Club of Decatur in Decatur, Ill. on this day as well. Patrick Mannelly, retired Chicago Bears long snapper and host of Golf360 on NBC Sports Chicago, will serve as the celebrity ambassador and participate in the Section event at River Forest Country Club.
“We’re incredibly excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Birdies for Charity this season,” said Chris Gumbach, Head PGA Professional at River Forest Country Club and event co-chair. “Now, more than ever, benefitting charities need our help to support programming and make sure children and their families are getting the services they need in these difficult times.”
Birdies for Charity features Illinois PGA Professionals playing up to 90 holes of golf in one day to try to make as many birdies as possible to raise funds for deserving charities. Golf professionals are sponsored by their members, friends, colleagues, business associates and the general public who would like to support the cause.  The Section event supports Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, JDRF Illinois Chapter. The Chapter event supports OSF HealthCare/Children’s Hospital of Illinois and the Advocate BroMenn Neonatology Program in Normal, Ill.  Both events support the Illinois PGA Foundation. 
“I’m thrilled to participate and serve as the Birdies for Charity ambassador. I love the game of golf and helping support children’s charities so this event combines two of my favorite passions,” said Mannelly. “Illinois PGA Professionals are dedicated to the game and helping others and I look forward to working together with them to support the event and raise more funds.”
Gumbach and Travis Johns, Director of Instruction at Medinah Country Club, serve as event co-chairs. Birdies for Charity was created in 2011 when Johns brought the concept with him from the North Texas PGA Section and proposed it to the Illinois PGA Section Board. At the time, Gumbach was the sponsorship chairman and immediately thought this event was just the kind of community involvement program the Section, Foundation and its members needed to rally around.  He and Johns worked together to get the event approved and launched. To date, Birdies for Charity has raised $1.96 million for charity.
“This event is circled on our members’ calendars every year as they look forward to playing golf to help children’s charities and try to achieve new fundraising goals they set for themselves,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section and Illinois PGA Foundation. “And, we’re pleased to have Patrick Mannelly join us this year to work alongside our professionals who understand that these charities are doing outstanding work in our communities and are committed to raising as much money as possible.”
To support Birdies for Charity and the Illinois PGA Professionals participating, please visit

About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Palmer Moody
Illinois PGA Communications
847.804.2721 mobile
Kevin Quinn
Illinois PGA Communications
708.336.1294 mobile