Devastating flooding caused by record rainfall has prompted the cancellation of the tournament, scheduled for July 7-10 at the White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., property. To help the flood’s victims get back on their feet, the resort’s Neighbors Loving Neighbors campaign is collecting food and money.
PGA TOUR and The Greenbrier officials announced on June 25 that The Greenbrier Classic, scheduled for July 7-10 in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., has been canceled due to the devastating flooding caused by record rainfalls throughout West Virginia.
Greenbrier County, where The Greenbrier is located, has been particularly hard-hit by torrential rains. The Old White TPC, host course for the tournament, suffered extensive damage from the flooding and is beyond reasonable repair to conduct the tournament TOUR officials said.
“We are heartbroken by the devastation that the residents of West Virginia are experiencing at this time and the reports of lives lost due to the terrible flooding,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “Canceling the The Greenbrier Classic is certainly the most prudent course of action as our foremost concern is the well-being of those who are having to live through this tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
“All of our focus needs to be on helping all of the people of our great state. So many have lost loved ones, their homes, and have no place to go,” said Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier.
The Greenbrier Classic was introduced in 2010 through a six-year agreement with the resort. Just two years later, The Greenbrier signed a six-year extension, carrying the commitment to host the tournament through 2021.
“This is a tremendous partnership and we’ve received unbelievable support from golf fans throughout the region,” Finchem said. “We know we will have the opportunity to return again next year and we look forward to that time. But for now, that is of secondary concern. The priority is safety of the residents and their recovery from this disaster.”
“We love the PGA TOUR and our partnership with these fine people,” said Justice. “All of us are united with only one common goal to help the people through this terrible time.”
In the meantime, The Greenbrier’s Neighbors Loving Neighbors campaign is collecting both food and cash to help the flood’s victims get back on their feet. The idea for the campaign began long before the devastating floods. When The Greenbrier Classic made the decision to make Grounds Badges to the 2016 PGA TOUR FedExCup tournament complimentary, the idea was put into action to have fans bring a can of food to the tournament to donate to those in need throughout the state. With record numbers expected to come to the tournament, the amount of food could make a major impact throughout the state.
After hearing Justice speak about the project during media day for The Greenbrier Classic earlier this month, Tony Mamone, with The Pinnacle Group, stepped forward to donate 10,000 cans of food. Justice matched that donation, and together they started the project with 13 tons of food.
The idea was to build a mountain of canned food in The Greenbrier’s Upper Lobby. At the end of the tournament, food banks from across the state would be eligible to pick up the food and distribute it to those in need.
Since the floods, Neighbors Loving Neighbors has taken on a new dimension. The project is now focused on those in West Virginia who are without clothing, food or shelter. Mo and Charles Barkley, Phil Mickelson, Larry Fitzgerald, Jimbo Fisher, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Lee Trevino and many others have already called offering assistance, and sponsors, members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club and friends of The Greenbrier are reaching out.
“The impact the waters had on these wonderful communities is hard to comprehend,” said Justice. “We want to do anything we can to help them, and we continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Neighbors Loving Neighbors was created to help those in need, and now we have so many people suffering. It just made sense to focus our efforts in their direction.”
All money collected will be used to help those who have lost homes and property. The food will be delivered to food banks across West Virginia.
“It’s been amazing how many people have already stepped up and asked what they could do to help,” said Habibi Mamone, Executive Tournament Director, The Greenbrier Classic. “Neighbors Loving Neighbors gives them that opportunity, and provides hope to those who need it so much right now.”