At a news conference Tuesday, Century Club Charities presented the $1,500,000 check to Friends of Children’s Hospital (FOCH), a fundraising organization dedicated to supporting the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s pediatric health care mission, including the state’s only children’s hospital.
“Through the efforts of our amazing Tournament Partners and Sponsors, especially our Title Sponsor, Sanderson Farms, as well as the Century Club Charities members, board, and staff; tournament volunteers, The Country Club of Jackson, and the PGA TOUR, the 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship allowed us to reach a once thought unattainable goal for Mississippi charities,” stated Pat Busby, President of Century Club Charities, Inc. “We were very excited to host a first-class event with spectators and all the excitement fans have come to expect, and that support allowed us to reach lofty goals in another year when Children’s of Mississippi and other statewide charities are in great need.”
“Today’s $1.5 million gift to Friends of Children’s Hospital for the benefit of Children’s of Mississippi, coupled with over $255,000 to other Mississippi charities, takes the 2021 total charitable impact of Century Club Charities to over $1,755,000 statewide,” continued Busby. “We are truly blessed to be able to do what we do for the children, families, dedicated doctors, nurses, and staff who provide miraculous care to our children, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Since Sanderson Farms, Inc. became the Title Sponsor in 2013, the tournament and Century Club Charities has contributed over $14.7 million to Friends of Children’s Hospital and other Mississippi charities.
“It was great to host our fans again this year after being unable to have spectators onsite in 2020,” said Sanderson Farms Championship Executive Director Steve Jent. “The fan base, combined with the continued support of Sanderson Farms, our sponsors and Century Club members – along with the hard work of our volunteers and staff – allowed us to create another special year for our charities.”
“Through this successful fundraiser, which is the premier event in the state of Mississippi, Century Club Charities has provided immeasurable support to Children’s of Mississippi. Over the years, their generosity has helped us fulfill our mission to serve Mississippi’s sick and injured children,” said John Scarbrough, chairman of Friends of Children’s Hospital. “On behalf of Mississippi’s youngest patients, thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to improving the health of the state – one child at a time.”
The donation to Friends of Children’s Hospital will go toward completing the funding of the seven-story Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children’s of Mississippi.
The Sanderson Tower more than doubles the square footage devoted to pediatric care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The state-of-the art facility includes two floors of private neonatal intensive care rooms where parents can stay with their babies as they grow healthier, a dozen advanced surgical suites, and a floor of private pediatric intensive care rooms. A pediatric imaging center and a multidisciplinary outpatient specialty clinic are also included, as is a parking garage nearby.
The tower opened for patient care November 2, 2020. Since its opening, thousands of children have received care inside the Sanderson Tower. This includes more than 1,000 babies starting life in the Sanderson Tower’s two floors of private neonatal intensive care rooms and more than 1,000 children who have received care in the tower’s private pediatric intensive care rooms. Nearly 9,000 surgeries have been performed in the Sanderson Tower’s 12 operating rooms, and scans performed in the tower’s pediatric imaging center number almost 70,000.
“Being here today signifies the mission of many individuals who work tirelessly year-round towards a common goal of giving back,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., Sanderson Farms CEO and board chairman. “Today we are privileged to give back to the young patients, their families, the doctors, nurses, and staff of Children’s of Mississippi.”
“The Sanderson Farms Championship would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, the determination of Century Club Charities and the time and commitment from hundreds of volunteers,” continued Sanderson. “These amazing partners and supporters are why we are able to be here today.”
So far, more than 93 percent of the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi’s $100 million goal has been raised through philanthropic gifts such as today’s presentation from the Sanderson Farms Championship to Friends of Children’s Hospital. In 2016, Friends of Children’s Hospital pledged $20 million to the campaign.
“Century Club Charities and the Sanderson Farms Championship have proven their commitment to children’s health care yet again,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “The millions of dollars raised through the Sanderson Farms Championship provide invaluable support of world-class health care close to home for Mississippi’s families. We are so grateful for this ongoing contribution.”