Local charity scores big with Walmart donation

The Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark. hosted the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G last week, and this week the golf tournament gave regional charity Cancer Challenge its largest gift ever.

In honor of its 20th anniversary this week, the Cancer Challenge received a $100,000 contribution from Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.

"On behalf of the Cancer Challenge we are thrilled to accept this gift from the tournament," said Tina Waggener, executive director of The Cancer Challenge. "Many more lives will be touched here in Northwest Arkansas as a result of this generosity.  The tournament has become one of the jewels in our community, and their commitment to improving the quality of life here for all our citizens is commendable."

Waggener said the size of the gift will require the organization's board of directors to begin considering how best to apply the contribution toward one or more of the organization's key focus areas that include preventive education, treatment, navigation and social services, and survivorship.

In addition to receiving this contribution, the Cancer Challenge also joined the tournament and P&G in driving awareness and donor participation in the Pantene Beautiful Links program which helps provide free wigs to women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment including women in Northwest Arkansas. This program culminated in a special hair donor event held annually during LPGA week in Northwest Arkansas.  At this year's event on June 19 at the John Q. Hammons convention center in Rogers, 344 people donated their hair toward this cause, more than double the donors from the previous year.

The 20th Cancer Challenge event takes place June 27-29 in Northwest Arkansas and consists of golf and tennis tournaments, a trap shoot, a run-walk, and the Sparkle and Spurs gala.

"The Cancer Challenge has been doing important work in Northwest Arkansas for 20 years now, and as part of our charitable outreach this year we wanted to do something of significance to support the organization's mission and outreach in this community," said Jay Allen, tournament chairman.