August 17, 2020

This week, East Lothian Foodbank based in Tranent, has been the official charity of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. The foodbank, which provides emergency food to people in crisis and feeds over 6,000 local people each year, benefited to the tune of £27,000 as the Official Charity of the 2020 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. The tournament was won by American LPGA star, Stacy Lewis.

Part of that figure came from a ‘Birdie Pledge’ initiative, backed by title sponsor Aberdeen Standard Investments whereby every birdie and eagle made by the professionals amounted to £5 and £10 being contributed to the fundraising tally – totaling £5,100, with 992 birdies and 14 eagles being made across the four tournament days.

The Birdie Pledge contribution was combined with donations from tournament host, The Renaissance Club, tournament promoter, IMG and the Ladies European Tour and LPGA, as well as online donations from the public. The valuable funds raised will help East Lothian Foodbank continue to care for the local community.

Candace Higgins, Director of East Lothian Foodbank, said: “To have been selected as the Official Charity of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open in the first place was an unbelievable honour, and now the generosity and support we’ve received from everyone at the event is overwhelming. We rely solely on donations to be able to do vital work in the East Lothian community, and the incredible amount raised from the tournament will not only allow us to continue this work but also means we can develop projects to support even more people. We can’t possibly thank everyone enough for their kindness.”

More than 14 million people in the UK live below the poverty line and as the impact of coronavirus continues to unfold, the East Lothian Foodbank has been busier than ever, with a 40% per cent increase in emergency food parcels given to people across East Lothian in the last three months.

The money raised at the event will allow the foodbank to continue to provide fresh food as part of their Gold Standard emergency food provision service and support their instrumental development work in the local community which helps decrease social isolation and improve service users general health and wellbeing. To help raise awareness of their work, the tee markers on the first tee were replaced with food tins in which each of the star players helped build over the course of the weekend. Something that didn’t go unnoticed by the world’s best female golfers including the eventual champion, Stacy Lewis.

“You look at this break we’ve been on and probably the most impacted are the communities we play in. So just the fact that we’re able to play, even though fans aren’t here and use the profile of the event to help the local community is amazing. It’s why we do what we do, so it’s nice to be playing golf and helping some people out” said Stacey.

Claire Drummond, Head of Charitable Giving at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “We’ve been proud to support and raise a fantastic amount for a local charity which is helping those most in need at this challenging time. The Ladies Scottish Open has been a great platform for the East Lothian Foodbank to be involved with, on a global scale. It was great to see East Lothian resident and Aberdeen Standard Investments ambassador Catriona Matthew, visit the foodbank last week to see the tireless work the team and volunteers do to provide food parcels that most of us take for granted. We are glad the money raised this week will help them continue to do such great work.”

Alexandra Armas, CEO of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We would like to thank Aberdeen Standard Investments for their support of the ‘Birdie Pledge’, as well as our partners at the LPGA, IMG and The Renaissance Club, together with the general public for the significant contributions they made throughout the week. Through their generosity, we have raised a fantastic sum of money for a wonderful cause.”

Donations to the East Lothian Foodbank can still be made at the tournament’s fundraising page.