A local career consultant and Heritage volunteer has come up with a way to combine golf and business, all while raising money for the Heritage Classic Foundation.
Jack Wilson said his idea to rent out a private skybox April 13 at the RBC Heritage to area business professionals is a spin-off of the foundation's Sponsor Partnership Club, which offers amenities based on contributions. This year the club decided to target businesses and professional organizations instead of focusing on individual contributions.
Wilson is expanding the concept to offer a day grounds ticket and skybox with catered food and beverage for $175 to anyone in the area's business community.
Partners, associates, clients or spouses can mingle and develop business relationships while perched on the 17th green, he said.
"I'm the kind of person always trying to come up with ways to make the tournament successful and get the community involved," Wilson said. "So I thought, why not find a way to not only raise some money but also provide a valuable service to people interested in meeting other people?"
To pay for the amenities, a minimum of 50 people must sign up for the skybox. Wilson said some spots have been reserved, but there's still plenty of room.
The Sponsor Partnership Club is targeting contributions from local businesses differently this year. Tournament sales director Bill Wagner said businesses have been divided into categories -- for example, accounting, or advertising -- and assigned volunteers to target them for contributions. The fundraising also is designed to foster some competition among businesses in each category to see which one contributes the most.
As in previous years, contributions can range from $50 to $2,500. The more a business contributes, the more amenities are included, such as prime parking and hospitality available exclusively to sponsors.
Wagner said groups such as country clubs have split the cost of a skybox among members in the past, but Wilson's idea to bring the business categories together for a day of the tournament is a first.
The Sponsor Partnership Club's goal is to raise $150,000 for next year's tournament, scheduled for April 9 through 15. The campaign began three weeks ago and has raised $20,000 so far, Wagner said.
The club raised $140,000 for this year's tournament, falling short of a $250,000 goal. It raised $120,000 in 2010.
Follow reporter Allison Stice at twitter.com/BlufftonBlogIP.