Islands rely greatly on pro sports events
The NFL has donated $1 million toward construction of a youth center in Nanakuli.
The National Football League's donation of $1 million toward construction of a youth center in Nanakuli is a reflection of the generosity from professional sports that has benefited Hawaii for many years. The gift comes at a time when Hawaii is struggling to remain a winter venue for sporting events where television exposure has overshadowed their charitable importance.
Major efforts are needed to maintain Hawaii as the host for sporting events that have been an important source of revenue for many organizations that help the needy. Their departure would be felt deeply.
NFL Charities routinely awards $100,000 in grants to youth-serving organizations in association with the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately the NFL all-star game might end its yearly staging at Aloha Stadium after 2009, although NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says Honolulu might figure into a rotation among different cities.
Concern extends to professional golf tournaments played in Hawaii. Friends of Hawaii Charities distributes a million dollars a year from proceeds at the PGA's Sony Open, the senior Champions Tour's Turtle Bay Championship and the LPGA's SBS Open and Fields Open, along with matching funds from the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, to organizations serving Hawaii's children, women, elderly and needy. Kapalua Maui Charities, host of the Mercedes-Benz Championship, gives more than $500,000 to Maui nonprofits.
The two-day Wendy's Champions Skins game, at Wailea, Maui, where players donated $77,000 -- 10 percent of their earnings -- to charities, was moved to the Kaanapali Golf Course on Maui, and is scheduled for Feb. 23-24. The contract for holding the Turtle Bay Championship ends next January, although it might be moved to a neighbor island.
The Mercedes and Sony tournaments have contracts extending to 2010. However, television competition with pro football playoffs threatens their continuation beyond then.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
» This editorial that appeared on page E2 Sunday incorrectly said the Wendy's Champions Skins game was canceled this year. Instead, the golf event moved from Wailea, Maui, to the Kaanapali Golf Course on Maui, and is scheduled for Feb. 23-24. Also, the editorial suggested that Sunday's Pro Bowl might be the last at Aloha Stadium; the National Football League is considering making the 2009 Pro Bowl the last one in Hawaii.
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