Friday, June 20, 2014
The proceeds from the 2014 Needtobreathe Classic golf tournament last month on Daniel Island were almost double the profits from the 2013 event, meaning more money for Charleston-area nonprofit Palmetto Medical Initiative (PMI) in its efforts to provide quality health care to people around the world.
Britt Gilbert of the Commonwealth Cares Foundation presented a check for $140,000 to PMI Executive Director Matt Alexander. The money will fund about half the cost of a second clinic in Uganda with work slated to begin in January 2015.
“I am really excited and incredibly thankful for the support,” Alexander said. “It's nice that Commonwealth has taken ownership of this event so we can continue to focus on our mission.”
Commonwealth Cares Foundation is the charitable arm of Commonwealth Financial Group, a Daniel Island-based financial services firm with a division focused on providing financial planning services to physicians and the medical community. The foundation partners with the band Needtobreathe to host the annual golf tournament and auction benefiting PMI. Last year's tournament raised about $80,000.
“The fact we raised so much more money this year demonstrates how much people believe in the work PMI is doing around the world,” said Gilbert, also a PMI board member. “Not only did people come out to enjoy a game of golf and an after-party concert, but they were able to learn more about the concept of sustainable health care and the model that has made PMI so successful.”
PMI's first clinic was in Masindi, Uganda. In January, PMI dedicated its clinic in El Viejo, Nicaragua. The second Uganda clinic will serve as a satellite for the main Masindi-Kitara Medical Center, where more than 800,000 patients have received care. Also this year, PMI announced plans to expand its efforts into Burundi.
Joining Needtobreathe on the golf course were musicians Drew and Ellie Holcomb, Steven Curtis Chapman and Ed Roland of Collective Soul. Professional golfers Kevin Streelman along with hometown golfer Russell Henley participated along with Matt Diaz of the Miami Marlins; Todd Ellis, voice of the Gamecocks; and musicians Ben Rector, Mark Bryan and John Mark McMillan.