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Stowers Institute for Medical Research spotlighted at celebrity tournament

Celebrity golfers and lifesaving gene-based research will be in the spotlight in tribute to the late James “Jim” Stowers Jr. at the 25th American Century Championship July 15-20 at Edgewood Tahoe.

Defending 2013 champion and former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver will be seeking his fifth tournament win. Perennial tournament favorites Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers and John Elway are slated to welcome newcomers Terrell Davis (former NFL running back), Rob Riggle (comedian) and Patrick Peterson (NFL cornerback).

Stowers, who passed away in March at the age of 90, was an investment management innovator who used the fruits of his labor to co-found and endow the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the official national beneficiary of this year’s tournament.

“Jim was an amazing person who focused his entire life on helping others,” said Jonathan Thomas, president and chief executive officer of American Century Investments. “As an asset management pioneer, he helped people improve their financial situation, while through the Stowers Institute for Medical Research he brought ‘hope for life’ to those afflicted with diseases like cancer, diabetes and dementia by using basic research to improve human health.”

The Stowers Institute for Medical Research is a 550-person, basic biomedical research organization focused on improving the understanding of fundamental biological processes and using this knowledge to guide the development of innovative approaches to treat, diagnose and prevent disease. The Institute was established in 1994 through cancer survivors Stowers and his wife, Virginia, who dedicated their personal fortune to improving human health through basic research. Each year, more than 40 percent of American Century Investments’ profits are distributed to the Institute. Total dividend payments since 2000 now exceed $1 billion.

Since the tournament’s inception in 1990, approximately $4.2 million has been raised for a range of national and local non-profits. Previous beneficiaries include the Uniformed Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund, Fallen Patriot Fund, Lake Tahoe Fire Relief Fund (Angora fire), Autism Speaks, LIVESTRONG Foundation, American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Expect Miracles Foundation, United Negro College Fund and Boys & Girls Club.

The charities are showcased in tournament literature and promotional materials; they split the amateur prize pool (tournament winnings donated by players wishing to maintain their amateur status) and receive donations from participants in a pre-American Century Championship celebrity-amateur tournament. They also receive proceeds from a $1 million hole-in-one (17th hole at Edgewood) where the player gets half and the charities share the other half.

For the 2014 tournament, custom golf bag maker Vessel has created event-branded golf bags for each celebrity player. Autographed by the celebrities, the golf bags will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Stowers Institute. Tournament viewers can bid on the celebrity bags online or via text message from July 7 through July 20.

NBC will televise the second and final rounds of the American Century Championship live on July 19 and 20. The opening round will be televised on NBC Sports Channel on July 18. The 54-hole American Century Championship has been played at Edgewood Tahoe’s 6,707-yard lakeside course since its inception in 1990.


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