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Liberty Foundation awards $500K to 23 nonprofits through virtual golf tourney

The Liberty Foundation rounded up $500,000 in donations during the virtual edition of its 23rd Liberty Foundation Golf Invitational — A new reality tournament, which it split among 23 nonprofits in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The donation was presented right before the game, which took place Dec. 4 at a virtual golf course created exclusively for the tournament. The event marked the first time that a golf tournament was held in virtual form in Puerto Rico or across the Caribbean, Foundation officials said.

The 23 organizations that received donations this year were Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, Casa Familiar Virgilio Dávila, Casa de Niños Manuel Fernández Juncos, Centro Espibi, Centros Sor Isolina Ferré, Community Foundation USVI, Eco Exploratorio, Felisa Rincón de Gautier Foundation, Fundación Alas a la Mujer, Fundación A-Mar, Fundación CAP, Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal, Hogar Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús, Hogares Teresa Toda, Instituto Nueva Escuela, Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Kinesis, Make Music Happen (Berklee in Puerto Rico), Movimiento para el Alcance de Vida Independiente (MAVI), Niños de Nueva Esperanza, Para La Naturaleza, Ponce Children’s Choir and the San Juan Children’s Choir.

“It’s really important for us to continue helping nonprofit organizations that make such an amazing difference in the lives of thousands of children, youths and adults in the island, particularly this year with the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Naji Khoury, CEO of Liberty Puerto Rico and president of the Liberty Foundation.

“So, we partnered with a group of very talented Puerto Rican entrepreneurs from startup company VeoVeo to recreate, as closely to reality as possible, the great experience that we always have in the real golf course. The result was an amazing game that all participants enjoyed tremendously,” he said.

About 165 players from more than 50 cities around the world participated in the virtual golf game. They played the nine-hole golf invitational game with an Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset and controls that players received via mail once registered.

“Thanks to our collaborators and sponsors’ generosity, we got the opportunity to support some wonderful Puerto Rican nonprofits we have helped in the past, in addition to four new ones from the island and one from the USVI, now that we are in that market after acquiring AT&T’s mobile operations,” added Yadira Valdivia, Liberty Foundation’s executive director.

“This year’s donation represents another record for Liberty Foundation, and it’s one that we want to break again next year, and the year after because it will mean that the positive impact that we are having in our communities will continue to grow,” Valdivia said.

The Foundation will continue to help other nonprofit organizations throughout the year. The tournament has been raising funds for community organizations in Puerto Rico since 1996, when it raised $19,000 for the Hogar San José in Luquillo.

Since then, the event has raised more than $3.3 million for 28 nonprofit organizations throughout the island, including this year’s donation, Foundation officials said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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