The Principal Charity Classic

A Hole in One for Kids at the Principal Charity Classic

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 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.

Hadley Erickson and Sara Shelquist, using a specially outfitted iPad.

Hadley is one of the many children who has benefited from the money raised through The Principal Charity Classic. Here she's shown with her speech therapist, Sara Shelquist, using a specially outfitted iPad that helps Hadley communicate and learn to talk. The iPad was purchased with funds raised through The Principal Charity Classic.

“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 Steve Whitty, vice president—corporate marketing at The Principal.

More Than $6 Million Donated

In 2014 alone, The Principal Charity Classic donated a record $1,367,749 to local children's charities, making it the most charitable Champions Tour event in the nation. Over the course of eight years, The Principal Charity Classic has donated more than $6 million.

The recipients of The Principal Charity Classic donations are the 130 Birdies for Charities organizations and our five Fore Our Kids organizations in the Des Moines area:

  • Blank Children's Hospital
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
  • United Way of Central Iowa
  • Bravo Greater Des Moines
  • Variety—The Children's Charity of Iowa

The Principal Charity Classic is held at the historic Wakonda Club in Des Moines. Learn more at

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