Golf tourney raises $1.1 million for Batson

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Batson Children’s Hospital received a record-breaking $1.125 million donation on Tuesday from Century Club Charities, which hosts the Sanderson Farms Championship golf tournament. The tournament is Mississippi’s one PGA tour event.

Tuesday’s check topped last year’s donation by $16,000. Since Century Club Charities announced Sanderson Farms as the tournament’s sponsor in 2013, the event has raised nearly $4 million for Batson.

“There is no better way to invest in our state than to invest in the health of our children. This is what we work for all year,” said Peter Marks, president of Century Club Charities.

Batson Children’s Hospital patients and their families also attended the donation ceremony, held at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s student union.

“As a parent, this gift means so much,” said Katherine Beck, whose son Jamie Beck underwent heart surgery at Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson. “This means our children can have the best health care.”

Sanderson Farms began sponsoring the tournament in 2014. This year they committed to sponsoring the event for another 10 years.

Joe F. Sanderson Jr., CEO of Sanderson Farms, and his wife, Kathy Sanderson, are also chairing the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi. The drive aims to raise $100 million for Batson. Plans for the campaign include an expanded neonatal intensive care unit, a new children’s heart center and pediatric intensive care unit, as well as a new outpatient clinic.

“These gifts are making a real difference in the improving the lives of Mississippians,” said University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter.

Kathy and Joe Sanderson have donated more than $1,000 to Mississippi Today’s annual fund, Mississippians Together.