Portland Classic celebrating 45 years of golf benefiting Portlan - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Classic celebrating 45 years of golf benefiting Portland Charities

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

One of the floats in the upcoming Rose festival Grand Floral Parade will celebrate 45 years of some of the best golfers in the world coming to play in Portland.

The Cambia Portland Classic will bring 144 LPGA golfers and tens of thousands of spectators to the Columbia Edgewater Country Club at the end of June.

Preparations are underway now for the tournament, which is presented by Cambia Health Solutions.

Tournament chairman Don Ossey said the legacy of the event is the benefits it has brought to local charities.

“It started off with a group of volunteer business people in Portland who wanted to bring professional golf to Portland, and it's been going strong ever since,” he said. “Our focus is to bring the best women's golf to Portland and support local charities through the efforts, that's really our goal.”

Over the years the tournament has raised nearly $18 million to benefit local charities, like the Boys and Girls Club and the First Tee of Greater Portland.

“This tournament has been here for so many years. They've done Pro-Ams with us at the children's course, they've provided Pros for us at fundraising activities and for inspiring our young golfers,” First Tee Managing Director Keely Porter said. “We couldn't do any of that if this tournament wasn't here and the sponsors weren't contributing to the tournament.”

Porter said it is exciting for her and her staff to see women's golf become more popular and to see golf become a family sport over the years.

The non-profit provides golfing opportunities for young people and families, and because one of its goals is to keep girls and young women in the sport the Cambia Portland Classic is a great resource.

“The ladies come and spend the afternoon with the kids and give them lessons and inside secrets and stories and they love that experience,” Porter said. “It's so wonderful for our young ladies that we work with and for the entire community to be able to see the best women golfers in the world right here in our city.”

Tournament organizers are excited to bring the fun of the event to the Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade.

“What an amazing event, bringing the entire community together,” Ossey said. “For us to have the chance to raise a higher level of awareness for the LPGA and the Cambia Portland Classic through Portland's greatest festival? What a cool partnership that is.”

More awareness may mean more people watching the top women golfers play in Portland, and more benefits for non-profits in the Rose City.

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