ShopRite LPGA champion helps out after Hurricane Sandy

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Stacy Lewis Stacy Lewis

GALLOWAY – Traveling around the world, Ladies Professional Golf Association  player and 2012 ShopRite LPGA champion Stacy Lewis has demonstrated that she left at least a part of her heart in South Jersey.

She is donating $20,000 to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey - Southern Branch in an effort to assist the residents of the greater Atlantic City area adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy.

For 23 years, the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Southern Jersey Shore region have been a favorite tour stop for the professional athletes of the LPGA, according to tournament officials. Fans, volunteers and residents of the region that support the tournament year after year have come to mean a great deal to many of the players on the tour. 

“While the LPGA Tour was in Japan, I was heartbroken to see images of the damage caused by Sandy to the Northeast, especially the area near Atlantic City where we play the ShopRite LPGA Classic,” Lewis said. “The people who come out to that tournament are so supportive of women’s golf, so I just wanted to find some way to help them through this difficult time.” 

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey-Southern Branch serves Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and southeastern Burlington Counties from its warehouse in Egg Harbor Township. The FoodBank’s critical service programs include a mobile pantry, emergency assistance and food distribution pantry, Kathleen’s Closet thrift store, Kid’s Division, Kid’s Cafe, Family Meals program, Food Stamp outreach and others.

“We are grateful and honored to receive Stacy’s very generous contribution,” said Margie Barham, executive director of the Southern Branch. “The area has been hit tremendously hard, and there are so many more people who now need our help and will for a long time to come.”

The tournament’s executive director, Tim Erensen, praised the golfer’s action at this time.

“The aftermath of this unprecedented storm has left many area residents without the comfort of their homes, causing tremendous financial stress on families and organizations serving those affected,” Erensen said. “Stacy’s exceptionally generous donation to The Community FoodBank of New Jersey - Southern Branch comes at a critical time, and will go a long way in providing much needed comfort and assistance to those who call the Atlantic City area home. Not only is Stacy’s indomitable spirit and generosity admirable, but her fondness for our tournament and the people of this region is both comforting and heartwarming.”

Currently ranked the No. 1 American player on the LPGA Tour and the No. 2 player in the world by the LPGA’s Rolex World Rankings, Lewis joined the LPGA tour in 2009. This year, Lewis has won four LPGA tournaments including the ShopRite LPGA Classic here in June. If Lewis’s lead in the LPGA Player of the Year Award standings holds through the last two events, she would become the first American player to win Player of the Year in 18 years.  

She started playing golf at the age of eight and credits her parents for encouraging her to play even after having back surgery. Starting at age 11, Lewis wore a back brace 18 hours a day for nearly eight years to correct a curvature in her spine from scoliosis, removing it only to play golf. As an amateur, Lewis was a four-time All-American at the University of Arkansas, where she won a school record 12 collegiate events, including the NCAA Individual Championship in 2007. In 2009, she was the LPGA rookie of the year.

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