The Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit’s PGA Tour stop, has proven to be a significant source of funding for local charities, contributing to bridging the city’s digital divide. In 2022, the event raised a remarkable $1.57 million for local nonprofit organizations, with nearly half of the funds dedicated to Connect 313. This initiative aims to provide internet access to all Detroit households by 2025, and the tournament has committed $622,555 to support their efforts.
Officials have announced that Connect 313 has recently exceeded 100,000 households enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers discounted internet access and a one-time $100 subsidy for a technology device. The 102,123 homes now connected represent over 54% of eligible households.
Connect 313 is a collaborative effort between the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Rocket Community Fund, Microsoft, the City of Detroit, and other partners. Laura Grannemann, Connect 313 board chairperson and executive director of the Rocket Community Fund, highlighted the significant progress made, stating, “Hitting this milestone of improving the digital connectivity of more than 100,000 households is an important reminder of how much we can accomplish when we work together as a community.”
The Rocket Mortgage Classic launched its Changing the Course initiative in 2020, which led to the creation of Connect 313 in 2021, focusing on internet access for all. The event’s commitment to Detroit is unwavering, as emphasized by Jason Langwell, the tournament’s executive director.
In addition to the substantial funding for Connect 313, the tournament donated $100,000 to the Children’s Foundation, benefiting Midnight Golf, the First Tee of Greater Detroit, and the Detroit Police Athletic League. The Greater Palmer Park Community also received a donation of $100,000, while the remaining $747,687 went to Birdies for Charity, which supports various local nonprofits.
Since its debut in 2019, the Rocket Mortgage Classic has raised more than $6.8 million for local charities, with over half dedicated to the Changing the Course initiative. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan expressed his gratitude, stating, “Closing the digital divide is one of the most important things we can do as a city to give Detroiters access to opportunity, and the Rocket Giving Fund has been a great partner in that effort.”
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