On behalf of the City of Sylvania, I welcome the participants, families and fans of the Ladies Professional Golf Association back to Highland Meadows Golf Club. After a year of COVID pandemic restrictions, we welcome the Marathon Classic LPGA Tournament back with full fanfare and attendance. We look forward once again to the excitement and national attention the Marathon Classic brings to our community.
This year's tournament is being held July 5th through 11th with pro-am events scheduled earlier in the week. The LPGA brings thousands of fans and media representatives into Sylvania. Our local restaurants, shops, and hotel benefit from the many visitors to our community.
The tournament also greatly benefits local charities serving Sylvania and the Greater NW Ohio area. Since 1984, the LPGA tournament has raised $12 million for more than 190 northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan children's charities. This year's tournament will benefit 29 area children's charities.
The tournament has become a highlighted stop on the LPGA tour, attracting well over 100 of the best women golfers in the world. The Tournament has been voted 5th favorite of all the stops. The purse has grown substantially to $2,00,000. This year as one of the last team qualifying stops before the Solheim Cup later this summer at Inverness, it is attracting even more of the top LPGA golfers.
The tournament has become a huge event in Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan attracting over 50,000 spectators. The Marathon Classic will once again provide free admittance to retired & active military personnel, fire, police, EMS, frontline healthcare workers, and first responders. Each spectator that falls into these groups can also bring one guest free of charge. Valid I.D must be shown at the main entrance. Kids under the age of 17 will also be admitted free into the tournament as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
Highland Meadows Golf Club, the sponsors and the over 1,000 volunteers that make the LPGA tournament a success every year deserve our thanks. The members of Highland Meadows have hosted the LPGA since 1990 and the course and facilities are always in great shape. Local residents and golf fans donate thousands of hours for hole marshalling and the many jobs that must be done well for a successful tournament.
Sylvania prides itself on being a great place to live, work and raise a family, and the LPGA Tournament helps enrich the lives of our residents every year. The tournament brings the excitement of national attention to our community. Our residents are treated to competitive golf at the highest level. Our young people see first hand from world class athletes that hard work and practice can lead to success.
Once again, we welcome the Marathon Classic to Sylvania and wish the Best of Luck to all competitors. A great big Thank You goes out to Judd Silverman, his staff, and all the volunteers who each year bring an exciting LPGA golf tournament to our Sylvania community for all to enjoy!