Thunderbirds and Waste Management Phoenix Open Raise Record $12.2 Million for Arizona Charities

Thunderbirds and Waste Management Phoenix Open Raise Record $12.2 Million for Arizona Charities

Thunderbirds eclipse $12 million donation mark for first time,
fourth straight year breaking record

The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – raised a record $12.2 million ($12,263,207) for local charities through proceeds from the 2018 tournament, Thunderbirds Big Chief Carlos Sugich announced today. This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, breaking last year’s record total of $10.1 million and the first time eclipsing $12 million in tournament history. It also marks the fourth-consecutive year breaking the tournament record of charitable dollars raised in a single year.

“Each and every year is special when we make this announcement, but this year is extra special and truly a proud moment for The Thunderbirds,” Sugich said. “We knew the number would be high, but to reach a new milestone by breaking our own single-year record and in doing so joining only a handful of tournaments in the history of the PGA TOUR to break the $12 million barrier is spectacular. Thanks to our title sponsor Waste Management and to great community and corporate support, we were able to achieve our goals and help out so many children and families in need in the Valley.”

The Thunderbirds and the Waste Management Phoenix Open have raised more than $68 million ($68,417,890) for local charities since 2010 when Waste Management became title sponsor. In its history, dating back to 1932, the Phoenix Open has raised more than $134 million ($134,464,456) for charities in Arizona.

“Waste Management is proud of the positive impact this incredible event continues to have on the community,” said John Morris, Senior Vice President of Field Operations for Waste Management. “Hats off to The Thunderbirds for breaking another tournament record and for making a difference in the lives of so many. The Waste Management Phoenix Open remains a shining example of what is possible when everyone invests in making a difference for the benefit of our environment and community.”

The 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be held at TPC Scottsdale January 28 – February 3, 2019. “The People’s Open” is the best-attended golf tournament in the world and has gained legendary status for being the most unique stop on the PGA TOUR, as well as being the largest Zero Waste event. The 2019 edition of “The Greatest and Greenest Show on Grass” will mark the 84th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 10th as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

About The Thunderbirds/Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. For more information on Thunderbirds Charities, visit


Year-by-year breakdown of dollars raised since 2010:

2010 $4,429,266
2011 $4,053,962
2012 $5,552,416
2013 $6,214,711
2014 $7,061,282
2015 $9,325,732
2016 $9,369,873
2017 $10,147,441
2018 $12,263,207
Total   $68,417,890

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