Valero Energy Corporation sign off 1604 on June 21, 2019.
Valero Energy Corporation has been the title sponsor of the Texas Open since 2002. Credit: Stephanie Marquez / San Antonio Report

When the coronavirus pandemic forced the PGA Tour to cancel the Valero Texas Open, 53 local charities that count on the fundraiser weren’t left short.

On Monday, the tournament’s title sponsor, Valero Energy, announced it was awarding $14 million to hundreds of charities across the nation, including local organizations such as ChildSafe, Communities in Schools, and Mission Road Developmental Center.

Lynette Farrimond, vice president of development and communications at Mission Road, said the charity’s residential program for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities had to increase staffing considerably when school campuses closed, driving up costs unexpectedly.

“Valero represents the culture of San Antonio,” Farrimond said. “They’re just so generous, and even certainly before and even in the midst of the COVID, they just kept going.”

Like many professional sporting events, the golf tournament scheduled for April 2-5 didn’t happen, but the donors played through as business partners, sponsors, and individuals of the annual event participated in the event’s associated fundraisers, Benefit for Children and Champions fore Charity. 

Last year’s tournament raised $15 million and resulted in $3 million in contributions to 132 San Antonio area charities. 

“Although we couldn’t celebrate crowning a champion this year, our commitment to our communities never wavered,” said Eric Fisher, Valero senior vice president of wholesale marketing and international commercial operations and this year’s Valero Texas Open Tournament chairman. 

“None of this would be possible without so many incredibly generous groups who, despite the tournament’s cancellation, continued to provide their support because they share in our mission of caring for communities coast to coast.” 

Due to the urgency of need and enormous demand for social services, the sponsor expedited disbursement of the Benefit for Children funds, with Valero personnel in San Antonio and at its refineries and ethanol plans selecting the benefit charities. 

Champions fore Charity, formerly known as Birdies for Charity, recently distributed funds to 149 charities and schools that participated in the 2020 fundraising campaign, said a statement from the company. 

The list of San Antonio nonprofits receiving funds from the tournament fundraisers includes: 

  • Any Baby Can of San Antonio
  • AVANCE-San Antonio
  • Blessed Sacrament Academy
  • Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio
  • Boys and Girls Club of Texas Hill Country
  • Boysville
  • Brighton Center
  • Child Advocates San Antonio
  • Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas
  • ChildSafe
  • City Year
  • Clarity Child Guidance Center
  • Communities In Schools of San Antonio
  • Down Syndrome Association of South Texas
  • Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center
  • Epilepsy Foundation Central & South Texas
  • Endeavors
  • Family Service
  • Family Violence Prevention Services
  • Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas
  • Girls Inc. of San Antonio
  • Good Samaritan Center of San Antonio
  • Guardian House
  • Haven for Hope of Bexar County
  • Healthy Futures of Texas
  • Healy-Murphy Center
  • Kendall County Women’s Shelter
  • Kinetic Kids
  • Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Literacy San Antonio
  • Mission Road Developmental Center
  • Respite Care of San Antonio
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • Roy Maas Youth Alternatives
  • San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Awareness
  • San Antonio Food Bank
  • SAISD Foundation
  • San Antonio Metropolitan Ministry
  • San Antonio Sports Foundation
  • San Antonio Zoo
  • Seton Home
  • SOAR (Morgan’s Wonderland)
  • St. Peter – St. Joseph Children’s Home
  • St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
  • Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children
  • The Arc of San Antonio
  • The Children’s Shelter
  • The Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health
  • The Salvation Army
  • The San Antonio Children’s Museum (DoSeum)
  • The University Health System Foundation
  • The Witte
  • YMCA of Greater San Antonio

Disclosure: Valero Energy is a financial supporter of the Rivard Report. For a full list of business members, click here.

Shari Biediger has been covering business and development for the San Antonio Report since 2017. A graduate of St. Mary’s University, she has worked in the corporate and nonprofit worlds in San Antonio...