Dominion picks veterans program for PGA tour proceeds

From left: Tom Chewning, Tom Farrell, Tim Finchum, Bobby Wadkins, Curtis Strange and Robert Wrenn.

From left: Tom Chewning, Tom Farrell, Tim Finchem, Bobby Wadkins, Curtis Strange and Robert Wrenn at the announcement of the new PGA event. Photo by Michael Schwartz.

Virginia’s veterans will have more reason to golf clap when the PGA rolls into Richmond next year.

The organizers of the Dominion Charity Classic, a new PGA Champions Tour event to be played next November at the Country Club of Virginia, announced Monday that the net proceeds of the tournament will go to the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program. The state program is designed to assist veterans in their transition from military service to civilian careers.

Richmond-based Dominion Resources, as the title sponsor of the tournament, chose the V3 program as the event’s beneficiary. The utility giant is one of several hundred employers that participate in the program statewide.

Dominion was named the title sponsor earlier this year as part of a deal to bring the Champions Tour to CCV’s James River Course annually for a four-year period beginning next year. V3 will receive the event’s net proceeds for each of those years. Next year’s tournament will be played Nov. 3-6.

The Dominion Charity Classic will be the first Champions Tour event to be held in Richmond since 1990, when the tour was still the Senior PGA and the Crestar Classic was played at Hermitage Country Club.

The event, which will be broadcast on the Golf Channel, will have a $2 million purse that will draw pros over the age of 50, including Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie. It will be the second of three playoff events for the Champions Tour’s new Charles Schwab Cup playoff structure.

Thomas Farrell, left, Chairman, President and CEO of Dominion, shakes hands with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, after Farrell announced that the Virginia Values Veterans, was selected as the recipient of the proceeds from the Dominion Charity Classic. The V3 program is designed to ease the transition of military veterans to civilian careers. Dominion is the title sponsor of the PGA Champions tournament. (Dominion Photo)

Thomas Farrell (left) shakes hands with Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the V3 announcement. Photo courtesy of Dominion.

Net proceeds for V3 will be generated from sponsorships and other revenue. The PGA would not comment on how much revenue is expected from the event’s inaugural year. Neither the PGA nor Dominion has commented on how much the utility company paid to secure its title sponsorship.

The V3 is part of the state Department of Veterans Services and will receive the funds from the tournament through the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit vehicle that takes in donations for DVS programs that don’t receive state or federal funds.

V3 uses donated funds to offer programs that help employers in hiring veterans. Organizers said in a release Monday that those companies have hired more than 12,000 military veterans since June 2012.

Monday’s announcement was made at the Virginia War Memorial on South Belvidere Street. On hand were Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, State Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs John C. Harvey Jr., Veterans Services Commissioner John L. Newby II, and Dominion Charity Classic official Jeff Fitch.

Newby commented in the release that more than 30,000 Virginia service members will be leaving active duty over the next three years, and that Virginia will experience “a once-in-a-generation influx of raw talent.”

“Only through strategic partnerships such as this will we be able to continue marshaling this talent for our businesses and communities,” he said.

Organizers also announced that complimentary admission will be offered to all active-duty, National Guard and Army Reserve military members, veterans, military retirees and their dependents. Tickets are expected to be available next spring.

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