As the year comes to a close, I want to take a moment to update you on the outstanding activities and accomplishments of our staff and scholars throughout 2012.
This was a very good year for the Tiger Woods Foundation. We continue to excel at delivering high-impact education programs and life-changing results to many young people across the country. The Tiger Woods Learning Centers and Earl Woods Scholarship Program both grew in outreach and influence in 2012, reaching more than 14,000 young people, and these two college-access programs remain a model for youth organizations nationally.
Our five key fundraising events were highly successful and provided added value for all who participated. I am happy to announce that the Foundation has assumed operations of the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second stop in the PGA TOUR's playoff series, beginning in 2013. Additionally, the creation of several new and unique donor opportunities has helped bolster the Foundation's giving in 2012.
The Tiger Woods Learning Centers delivered outstanding programs to more than 14,000 students across five campuses in Orange County, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Florida. In an effort to bolster attendance and create additional community interest, we implemented a community outreach plan, launched new recruitment materials and targeted local media for stories highlighting our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. Along these same lines, the Foundation also conducted several STEM conferences, attended high school fairs and held focus groups on ways to better elicit and engage students. Additionally, 80 children of military families from 17 different states attended the TWLC Summer Academy in July.
The Earl Woods Scholarship Program continues to grow with 17 new scholarships awarded in the fall, bringing the total to 77 scholars in six years. All our scholars are paired with a dedicated mentor and attend our winter workshop in January. This summer, 30 internships (100 percent of those requested) were secured on behalf of our scholars. The Foundation also created a new enrichment program, offering additional funding for educational development and personal growth. 87 percent of our scholars are first-generation students maintaining an average GPA of 3.07 and a college retention rate of 100 percent. Our scholars attend universities across 15 states with the top field of study being biological/biomedical sciences.
This year we launched Tiger's Facebook Challenge -- a grassroots, donor-based program allowing individuals to connect with Tiger and offer their support of the Foundation's programs. The campaign generated nearly $100,000 in donations, thanks to a matching gift from Tiger, with 75 percent of donations under $20.
Additional fundraising support came in April at the 14th annual Tiger Jam benefit concert featuring Jon Bon Jovi, who performed to a sold-out crowd at Mandalay Bay. It was Jon's third performance at a Foundation event and arguably one of the best shows ever for the Foundation's guests. Friday night's inaugural Tiger's Poker Night, a charity poker tournament, helped the event net more than $1 million for the Foundation's programs.
June marked the return of Tiger Woods to the Washington, D.C., area for the sixth AT&T National. Although extreme heat and a derecho storm hit the area, causing the third round to be closed to spectators, it is a testament to the hard-working and dedicated staff that converged on-course at sunrise to begin cleanup and make the third round of the AT&T National possible. Tiger battled a strong field and the elements to post his second consecutive victory at Congressional, yielding the highest TV rating on CBS Sports in the young event's history.
The second annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach presented by USLI was a huge success with 60 percent of the 2011 sponsors returning for this year's event. Tiger and Earl Woods Scholar Grace Lee headlined the annual dinner and regaled the 150 attendees with their personal reflections.
Lastly, the 14th annual World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual enjoyed an excellent field led by the host and five-time champion Tiger Woods at Sherwood Country Club. Despite the rain, a record number of fans attended the exciting golf event and witnessed Graeme McDowell capture his second World Challenge victory on Sunday.
As we look back on the year, we want to thank all the thousands of donors, sponsors, mentors and volunteers that have helped us accomplish so much for so many deserving scholars. There is great anticipation for 2013 and all that it offers for the talented, ambitious students we serve, as well as all the dedicated people working for a cause they personally believe in.
Gregory T. McLaughlin
President & CEO
Tiger Woods Foundation