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Proceeds from this year’s  TOUR Championship will benefit five Atlanta-based nonprofits:  East Lake Foundation, Focused Community Strategies, Grove Park Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta and First Tee – Metro Atlanta.  The collective work of all three communities (East Lake Foundation, Grove Park Foundation, Focus Community Strategies) within the Purpose Built Communities (see below) network is proof that communities that have experienced disinvestment and lack of opportunities for decades can be transformed into neighborhoods where children and families thrive and experience increased upward mobility, improved educational and health outcomes, and greater racial equity.

Over the last decade, more than $48 million in proceeds from the TOUR Championship has been donated to the Atlanta community, including last year’s contribution of more than $5.5 million to the charitable beneficiaries including the East Lake Foundation, Grove Park Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta and The First Tee – Metro Atlanta.

Available for interviews:

  • East Lake Foundation, President and CEO, Illy Askia.
  • East Lake Foundation, COO, Catherine Woodling.
  • FCS, Grove Park Foundation, and/or Purpose Built Schools Atlanta Leadership
  • Carol Naughton, Chief Executive Officer – Purpose Built Communities

East Lake Foundation

The East Lake Foundation was formed in 1995 to revitalize the East Lake neighborhood and transform it into a vibrant community where all residents can thrive utilizing a holistic model for community revitalization that includes mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education, community wellness and economic vitality.

For nearly 30 years, the Foundation has proven that working with residents and public and private partners, while providing the right combination of comprehensive programs and services, is transformative for the community.

The East Lake Foundation works with key partners to deliver and support a wide range of programs, including early childhood education; supplemental enrichment at Drew Charter School; college and career readiness and scholarships; entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy training for adults; golf and life skills instruction; and healthcare access and education. Together we are working to ensure that the East Lake neighborhood is recognized for what is possible and not defined by its past.

The Foundation’s success has served as a blueprint for a national model of holistic community revitalization through Purpose Built Communities. Today, there are 27 Purpose Built Communities across the country, including two additional communities in Atlanta (the Grove Park Foundation and Focus Communities Strategies), all of which are successfully creating opportunities for resident and building strong, equitable and economically diverse communities.

The Trust at East Lake

The East Lake Foundation, with the support of the TOUR Championship, is a philanthropic partner of The Trust at East Lake project, a 40-townhome development spearheaded by the Atlanta Land Trust. The project is being aided by the TOUR Championship’s charitable donation and will help provide permanently affordable homeownership for East Lake residents beginning in the fall of 2025.

The Trust at East Lake project will help further the Foundation’s efforts to expand affordable housing availability in the East Lake community and empower families to pursue economic vitality for themselves and future generations through affordable homeownership.

East Lake’s transformation includes:

  • Educating more than 2,200 students a year from 6 weeks old through high school
  • 850+ apartments in mixed-income rental communities.
  • 40 for-sale permanently affordable townhomes at the Trust at East Lake (under construction)
  • 98% High School Graduation rate – Drew Charter School Class of 2023

Available for an interview:

  • Drew Charter School’s Head of School, Peter McKnight, and/or a Drew Student
  • Villages of East Lake Resident and Future Resident at the Trust at East Lake, Alicia Dawkins

To view a 90 second overview of the East Lake Foundation’s work, visit

To view a two-minute overview of the East Lake Foundation’s work, visit


  • Interview East Lake Foundation President & CEO, Ilham Askia, about her first TOUR Championship, new strategic plan and mission, and the addition of the Economic Vitality pillar.
  • Interview East Lake Foundation COO, Catherine Woodling, or Amanda Rhein, Executive Director of the Atlanta Land Trust, about the Trust at East Lake and milestones surrounding the new affordable housing:
    • 8 of the 40 under contract
    • Construction progress
  • Interview a family/resident who is moving into The Trust at East Lake who will benefit from this housing.
  • Interview former Drew Charter School golfers about the influence of the golf course on their love of the game, reflecting on memories of the course before it closes.
  • Interview Lillian Giornelli, daughter of Tom Cousins (Founder of East Lake Foundation) and Shannon Longino, granddaughter of Eva Davis, about East Lake’s history.
  • Interview other Atlanta-area beneficiaries about how the TOUR benefits all of Atlanta.
  • Interview a legacy family/resident from the Villages who can share perspective on how the neighborhood has evolved.

Purpose Built Communities

The community revitalization started by the East Lake Foundation in 1995 created a national model for transforming neighborhoods. In 2009, Warren Buffett and Julian Robertson joined Tom Cousins in founding Purpose Built Communities, a nonprofit that provides local leaders pro-bono support to implement the successful holistic model of neighborhood transformation that began in East Lake.

The Purpose Built Communities Model relies on four pillars:

  • Mixed-income housing and infrastructure
  • Educational opportunities from cradle-to-college
  • Community wellness activities such as physical/mental health and wells, access to health care supportive service, and recreational activities
  • Economic Vitality including entrepreneurship, career readiness and financial literacy.

More information on Purpose Built Communities can be found at

Available for an interview:

  • Carol Naughton, Chief Executive Officer – Purpose Built Communities
  • Michelle Matthews – Executive Vice President of Strategy and Impact – Purpose Built Communities

Expanded Philanthropic Impact of TOUR Championship

In addition to the East Lake Foundation, this year’s tournament will support two new neighborhood-based nonprofit organizations in Atlanta, the Grove Park Foundation and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. Grove Park Foundation is part of the Purpose Built Communities national network, which was launched in 2009 and is replicating the success of the East Lake Foundation in 19 neighborhoods beyond East Lake across the country. Purpose Built Schools Atlanta was established to replicate the innovative educational model established at Drew Charter School at four schools in the Atlanta Public School’s Carver Cluster.

  • 10% of net proceeds this year will go to Grove Park Foundation and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta with the remaining 90% to sustain the East Lake Foundation’s continued work. Over time, an increased percentage of the proceeds will benefit Grove Park Foundation and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta.
  • Grove Park Foundation will bring best practices and lessons learned from East Lake to the Grove Park neighborhood on Atlanta’s west side.
  • Purpose Built Schools Atlanta will bring best practices and lessons learned from Drew Charter School to Atlanta Public School’s Carver Cluster, serving two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school across Historic South Atlanta and adjacent neighborhoods.

Expanding to support additional organizations allows the TOUR Championship to connect more communities and organizations engaged in holistic community revitalization to each other and to one of the greatest annual sporting events in Atlanta.

Charles R. Drew Charter School in East Lake

Drew Charter School educates, nurtures, and empowers all students to achieve their full potential and is an integral part of the neighborhood revitalization strategy, led by the East Lake Foundation. Since opening its doors to students in August 2000, Drew Charter School has created a community of teachers, staff, students, families, and volunteers focused on high achievement and character development for all students.

  • When the school opened in 2000, Drew ranked last in the Atlanta Public Schools. Now, Drew students continue to perform at very high levels across all subjects and grades. Drew Charter was recognized as the 2020 Georgia Charter School of the Year.
  • In 2010, Drew launched an innovative academic model known as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics); this forward-thinking curriculum prepares Drew students to compete with top students locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Nearly 100% of the students in Drew Charter School’s first five senior classes graduated and had a post-secondary plan for college or career. 98% of the Class of 2023 graduated on time.
  • In May of 2019, Drew Charter School’s Varsity Boys Golf Team made history by winning the Class A Public State Championship. They were the first Atlanta Public School team to win a State Championship in Golf and the first all African-American team and coaches to win a State Championship in Golf in the State of Georgia.

Story Ideas

  • Interview Drew Golf Team alums Christopher McCrary Georgia Institute of Technology, and Solomon Dobbs, Morehouse Golf team member. “Where are they now?” type piece.
  • Follow Drew student correspondents along as they capture unique TOUR content.
  • **New – Cox-Pre K Fellowship Interview (both of the inaugural positions were filled by Drew Alumni)

Please contact Catherine Woodling ( or Claire Charhon ( to learn more and connect with leadership from Grove Park Foundation, Focused Community Strategies and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta.

First Tee – Metro Atlanta

The mission of First Tee – Metro Atlanta is to positively impact the lives of Metro Atlanta’s young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

Each year, two members of the First Tee® of Metro Atlanta is selected to hit the HOPE Tee Shot on Thursday prior to the opening round of the TOUR Championship. The tee shot is a symbol and reminder of the hope that continues to build throughout the East Lake community as a result of the East Lake Foundation’s neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Each year, both honorees emerge from an intense selection process comprised of a golf competition, essay contest and interviews with tournament leadership.

For the second time in 2023, the tournament will provide a $5,000 scholarship for each of the two HOPE Tee Shot honorees on behalf of TOUR Championship Proud Partner Accenture.

Meet the 2023 Honorees:

Elsie Husted

Husted, a rising senior at Drew Charter School, has been a member of First Tee – Metro Atlanta for eight years, and has some experience hitting shots in front of a crowd at East Lake Golf Club. In 2022, she was invited to participate in the TOUR Championship Charity Challenge during tournament week, where she and other local First Tee participants hit shots on the par 3s in place of the Charity Challenge competitors.

Off the golf course, Husted can be found getting lost in a good book or watching her favorite player, Rory McIlroy, compete on the PGA TOUR.

Josh Mitchell

Mitchell, a rising senior at Riverwood International Charter School, has been envisioning his chance to hit the HOPE Tee Shot even since he took up golf and First Tee in 2019. Josh has proven to be a quick learner, having seen incredible improvement in his scores while relying on Perseverance – one of First Tee’s Nine Core Values – to help him overcome the setbacks that come with playing competitive golf.

Mitchell’s favorite PGA TOUR player is Scottie Scheffler and looks up to his mother and grandfather as the most influential people in his life.

Grove Park Foundation

Overview: Using the Purpose Built Communities model, Grove Park Foundation is working with the residents in Atlanta’s west side Grove Park neighborhood in a partnership model to bring about equitable and sustainable transformation that preserves and builds community. The foundation is committed breaking the generational cycle of poverty through efforts that will build an A+ cradle-to-college education pipeline, develop affordable and mixed income housing, and implement community health and wellness programs and facilities. Building on the neighborhood’s strengths and needs, Grove Park Foundation is focused on creating a healthy community in all respects—financial, professional, educational, physical and social. Our work is achieved through partnerships with public, private and non-profit partners, and by attracting investment to support arts, affordable health care and bringing jobs and a “main street” economy back to life along the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway corridor.


TOUR Championship volunteers help organize, coordinate, and manage the event in various capacities which allows the event to donate back to the community. A total of more than 1,300 volunteers give a total of nearly 19,000 hours dedicated to supporting the TOUR Championship.

In 2023, Georgia Urology and Boston Scientific will once again return as sponsors of the tournament’s Volunteer Headquarters, which serves as the hub of activity for more than 1,300 volunteers as they fuel up ahead of a big day or unwind and recap the sights and sounds around East Lake Golf Club.

From Gallery Management Ambassadors to youth standard bearers, TOUR Championship volunteers help organize, coordinate, and manage the event in various capacities that allows the event to donate back to the community. Since first being played at East Lake in 1998 the TOUR Championship has given back more than $48 million to charity – including a record $5.5 million from the 2022 event – and supporting the event’s five charitable beneficiaries: East Lake Foundation, First Tee – Metro Atlanta, Grove Park Foundation, Focused Community Strategies and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta.

“Giving back remains a driving force behind Georgia Urology’s overall mission,” said Dr. Carl Capelouto, a senior urologist with Georgia Urology, “and the volunteerism at the TOUR Championship enables the tournament to do phenomenal work for the community.  This echoes the practice’s values, which inspires us to continue to offer our unwavering support.”

“Our volunteer force is what brings the TOUR Championship to life,” said Alex Urban, Executive Director of the TOUR Championship. “The support from Georgia Urology and Boston Scientific is so impactful to ensure our volunteers have a memorable TOUR Championship experience while helping us continue to drive meaningful dollars back to our charitable beneficiaries.”

Story Idea:

  • Speak with any of the few volunteers who have been working the TOUR Championship since the event was first staged in 1998. Visit them at their assigned position and ask them to recall their favorite TOUR Championship memories from over the years.