Before Se Ri Pak and some of her fellow South Koreans on tour begin play at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic this week, they have some work to do.
Tomorrow afternoon at the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Ohio, Pak and about 20 other South Korean LPGA players will volunteer their time to help with household chores. A group including golfers Inbee Park, Birdie Kim, Meena Lee, He Young Park, and Ji Young Oh will help with cooking, baking, gardening and laundry that needs to be done daily at the house.
Later this week, the golfers will tee off at Highland Meadows Golf Club in the 25th edition of the Farr Classic. Pak is a five-time winner.
The South Korean player base makes up about a third of the international players on the LPGA tour. A release said the player base wanted a U.S.-based community and charity to support.
"It's a wonderful gesture on the part of the players to give back to a community that has served them well," tournament director Judd Silverman said. "They're going to get a lot out of giving back to the community.
"It's even more special that Se Ri is leading the recruitment of the other South Korean players to get involved. She's a great role model for the entire tour, not just the South Korean contingent."
Ronald McDonald House has been the Farr's permanent charity for 22 years.
The 14-bed facility offers a place for family of hospitalized children to stay.
"When we started, the local McDonald's franchise owners underwrote the first two tournaments," Silverman said. "We would have never been in a position to sign a contract with the LPGA had we not had that insurance policy. The local franchise owners said they would do it if we made the Ronald McDonald House the sole beneficiary of the tournament.
"We lost money the first year and made money the second year and every year since. After a few years the board decided, we'll continue to give to Ronald, and let's spread the money around the community too."
Silverman said "probably well over a million" of the $6.2 million the Farr Classic has donated to charities has gone to the house.
Festivities for the tournament kick off tomorrow with three pro-ams.
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