Gary Player Invitational enjoys a successful outing in China
SHANGHAI, China -- One is a winner of nine Major championships, nine Champions Tour Majors and one of only five men to win the career Grand Slam; the other an actor, action choreographer, filmmaker, comedian and producer.
Gary Player and Jackie Chan are both internationally celebrated; tenacious competitors with never-say-die attitudes and never shy to express their opinions on any number subjects.
They also share a tremendous passion to improve the lives of underprivileged children.
The duo teamed up for the most prestigious charity golf event in China, the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola on 2-3 November 2009. Player and Chan rallied their philanthropic passion to evoke an outpouring of goodwill that left even these two icons thrilled.
Beginning in 2000 Coca-Cola and the Black Knight partnered on golf events to raise funds for needy children around the world. Since the inception of the Gary Player Invitational in China in 2007, more than 2,000 AIDS-impacted orphans in Yunnan, Hubel Anhui and Xinjiang, China, have been supported.
Having raised Rmb 6.5-million with the first two events, Player, Chan and Doug Jackson, President of Coca-Cola China, were elated to see the success of the third staging of this Event raising almost Rmb 8-million.
Player and Chan co-hosted the gala dinner and auction along with Jackson at the Pudong Shangri-la Hotel in Shanghai. The prestigious function was the official opening of the charity tournament. The dinner was supported by well over 300 guests including top Chinese business leaders and heads of multinational enterprises, Ren Dequan, Vice President of the Chinese Foundation for the Prevention of STD and AIDS. Olympic hurdlest and Chinese sports icon Liu Xiang along with number one ranked professional golfer Liang Wenchong, as well as two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen and English Ryder Cup star, Paul Casey were a few of the many sporting heroes in attendance,
The following day, guests were entertained by a pre-round clinic, staged by Player at the internationally acclaimed Shanghai Links. A team scramble competition followed, where each of the par-3 holes was hosted by a professional golfer or celebrity.
"The Player Foundation's mission is to provide support to less fortunate children around the world," said Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International. "We are particularly excited about developing our charitable partnership in China, and being able to give AIDS orphans in Yunnan a better chance in life."
Jackson added that Coca-Cola strives to be responsible in its business operations, while responding to greater needs in the community, and expressed the hope that the fourth annual Gary Player Invitational would break the Rmb 10-million mark to enable the GPI to expand their support even further.
The final leg of the GPI series that includes the United Kingdom, United States and China - the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola - will celebrate its 10th anniversary at The Links at Fancourt in George, South Africa from 26-29 November 2009.
About the Gary Player Invitational Global Series
The Gary Player Invitational Series, with events in the United Kingdom, United States, China and South Africa, is aimed at raising money for non-profit charitable organisations, whose mission is to provide quality education for disadvantaged and underprivileged children and strengthen impoverished communities plagued by disease and crime.
For over a decade, top professionals, all-star sportsmen, celebrities, and businessmen have come together for the annual Gary Player Invitationals in support of underprivileged children. For more information about our charity series, please visit www.garyplayerinvitational.com .
About The Player Foundation
The Player Foundation executes global charitable efforts in support of underprivileged children. This year the foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary, and in that time, has raised over R250 million globally. Gary Player Invitational charity events take place in each corner of the globe - from Europe to China to the USA and culminating in South Africa.
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