Sponsored by The Principal, The Principal Charity Classic brings PGA Champions Tour professional golf to central Iowa. The event attracts tens of thousands of spectators, brings in millions of dollars in revenue for local businesses and—most importantly—helps thousands of area children.
Three-year-old Hadley Erickson is one of them. Hadley can easily do almost anything other three-year-olds can do. But because Hadley has a condition known as apraxia, she struggles to speak.
“She understands everything a three- or four-year-old should understand, but she just can’t make the motor movements for speech,” explains speech therapist Sarah Shelquist.
Hadley receives ongoing speech therapy from Shelquist at ChildServe in Johnston, Iowa. A very effective part of that therapy is a specially outfitted iPad, which helps Hadley communicate and learn to talk.
Although the iPads are effective, they’re also expensive. Between the device itself and the special software the therapists use, each iPad costs between $700 - $750 each. Currently, ChildServe’s 22 therapists, who work with more than 2,500 special needs kids each year, have just three iPads to share between them.
Thanks to a special fundraising drive during The Principal Charity Classic, however, ChildServe will be able to purchase new iPads this year. “Studies show that iPads can really help special-needs kids connect with the outside world,” explains Mary O’Keefe, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at The Principal and chair of The Principal Charity Classic.
In 2012 alone, The Principal Charity Classic donated a record $917,729 to local children's charities, making it the most charitable Champions Tour event in the nation. Over the course of six years, The Principal Charity Classic has donated more than $4 million.
The recipients of The Principal Charity Classic donations are the 95 Birdies for Charities organizations and our five Fore Our Kids organizations in the Des Moines area:
The Principal Charity Classic is held at the historic Wakonda Club in Des Moines. Learn more at principalcharityclassic.com.