THE PHIL & AMY FOUNDATION
Since its inception in 2004, the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation has focused its interest primarily on supporting a variety of youth and family initiatives.
“Family is our own number-one priority,” said Phil. “Both Amy and I benefited by being raised in our own strong, loving families and now we’re fortunate and thankful to be in a position to help others strengthen their own family bonds.”
The mission of the Foundation fund is to operate exclusively for charitable, educational and/or scientific purposes. Established as a 501(c)3, it is a non-fundraising private foundation.
“We have not solicited donations but we have received them,” said Amy. “We want those kind donors to know we’re truly grateful and that because our administrative fees are virtually nil, every cent that is contributed goes directly to our projects.”
The Foundation’s goals are met annually through involvement with Start Smart and the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. Beyond those nationally recognized efforts, the Foundation is active in supporting a wide variety of smaller but no less important causes.
PHIL AND AMY MICKELSON TRUST ANNOUNCES CHARITABLE DONATION FROM THE DON LEVIN FAMILY TRUST
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Feb. 18, 2017) – The Phil and Amy Mickelson Trust proudly announces the receipt of a substantial charitable donation from the Don Levin Family Trust based in Los Angeles.
The Mickelson Trust, the philanthropic arm of World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy, have for many years made contributions in the areas of education and the military, with special emphasis on Special Operations Warrior Foundation, supported by Phil and Amy for fourteen years.
Tom Gallagher, co-trustee of the Levin Foundation, approached the Mickelsons and Special Ops, offering donations to each, and a commitment to work closely on future charitable initiatives with the Mickelsons.
After meeting with Phil during the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open, Gallagher said, “We at the Levin Family Trust have followed with interest and admiration the philanthropic endeavors of Phil and Amy for sometime. We also recognize the incredible work done by Special Ops in providing college educations for the children of Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty.
“We look forward to a long and meaningful relationship with Phil and Amy and Special Operations and believe our initial contribution will set the stage for future initiatives of the two foundations.”
Mickelson said, “Amy and I are grateful to Tom and the Levin Family Trust for their very generous contribution and for recognizing our charitable work that benefits children and military families, especially our commitment to Special Ops. We look forward to working closely with The Levin Trust in developing future charitable initiatives that are consistent with our past efforts to improve the lives of those in need.”
The sun isn’t yet up on a late summer morning when busses start rolling into the parking lot. Waiting for them are Phil and Amy Mickelson and volunteers bracing for five hours of fun for them and fantasy for 1,500 of San Diego County’s neediest schoolchildren. It’s the start of another Start Smart Saturday, when dreams come true for both the Mickelsons and the kids. They’ll be treated to a back-to-school shopping spree and the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation will be the richer for it.
“We’re just very fortunate to be in a position to help people who really need help,” said Phil. “We couldn’t put a price on the reaction of the children and their parents and it’s gratifying to know how much this means to so many families through the year.”
The Foundation established Start Smart in 2005 to help improve self-esteem in San Diego County’s first- through fourth-graders, and in turn improve their work in the classroom. With the help of the San Diego County Office of Education and elementary school principals and teachers, children are selected to participate in the basis of need and achievement.
“The thoughtfulness and generosity shown by the Mickelsons over the years has been overwhelming on several levels,” said Randy Ward, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. “By providing needy students with new school clothes and supplies the Mickelsons ensure thousands of children are ready to learn, which is one of the most important factors in a child’s education. Star Smart students are eager to go to school, resulting in better attendance and achievement. Beyond that, Start Smart has a tremendous impact on the relationship between school and homes, which is another key element in the ultimate success of students. San Diego County is incredibly fortunate to have partners like Phil and Amy Mickelson.”
At Start Smart, Phil and Amy greet nearly every visitor. Each child has a list of items available: jackets, sweaters, shirts and blouses, slacks and skirts, shoes, socks and underwear. Each pupil also selects a backpack full of school supplies. In the store, the Mickelsons’ children, parents and a number of friends and volunteers, take on chores ranging from restocking items to helping kids shop to directing the dozens of school busses that drop off and pick up the kids, their parents and teachers.
This year the venue moves to a Target store, where the staff will spend most of Friday night rearranging the shopping area and help assure the program runs smoothly through the morning.
“We are just thrilled our partnership with Target,” said Amy. “The people there have been on board for months and they seem almost as excited about the day as we are. It’s just amazing to see not only the impact it has on the kids as they’re shopping, but also the positive effect the day has on them in school through the year. The teachers’ stories are so heartwarming. We can see the joy in the parents’ faces. Since we started Start Smart we have said the day is one of our very favorites.”
In 2005 the Foundation partnered with ExxonMobil to develop the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, an intense, five-day curriculum that gives 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers innovative tools to help motivate their young students in math and science. The Academy works with the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions to provide curriculum that supports teacher networking and development in inquiry-based instruction.
“Developing tomorrow’s bright stars in math and science is essential if our country is going to maintain its leadership position in those fields,” said Phil. “Our children deserve the very best in math and science education, our nation needs it, and helping teachers teach seemed like the best way to approach a national challenge that has to be met.”
To date, the Academy has trained 2,600 teachers from across the nation in its six years, hosting 600 participants each summer. A majority of teachers are selected by school administrators in cities where Phil plays on Tour and where ExxonMobil has a significant presence. In addition, 200 teachers are selected each year from applications submitted at www.sendmyteacher.com, a website where students and administrators can nominate math and science teachers for the Academy.
Phil and Amy annually attend one of the sessions to meet with teachers, administrators and the media. They take part in various learning experiments and address the gathering, thanking them for their participation and encouraging them to use their new-found skills. In 2008, they also appeared before the House Education and Labor Committee in Washington D.C. to advocate increased government awareness and spending to support math and science education.
“There are a number of things that go into successful learning,” said Amy, “but our most effective way of ensuring that is to support the teachers. It’s so inspiring to us to see how dedicated these men and women are to their kids. Our goal is to show them how much we appreciate their efforts by giving them innovative ways to inspire their students, to help them understand science isn’t mysterious or difficult and in fact it can be fun.”
BIRDIES FOR THE BRAVE
Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, originally created the Birdies for the Brave concept to support troops injured during combat. He began his effort in 2003 by playing on behalf of Homes For Our Troops and since 2004 has played for Special Operations Warrior Foundation. For each birdie or eagle made on TOUR throughout the season, a contribution of $100 for a birdie or $500 for an eagle is made to Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Phil’s leadership in this area that gave impetus to the creation of Birdies for the Brave, so it was fitting that he announced the official launch of the PGA TOUR Charities Inc. program on July 4, 2006.
Since Birdies for the Brave’s inception, the PGA TOUR Charities, Inc. initiative has grown to include a variety of military outreach efforts, including: patriotic celebrations, VIP experiences and complimentary access for military men, women and their families during PGA TOUR tournaments, letter-writing campaigns for the troops and fundraising events conducted at the PGA TOUR’s TPC clubs. Those events have raised nearly $13 million for the now nine support groups under the Birdies for the Brave umbrella, each of which is represented by a Tour player.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS WARRIOR FOUNDATION
Since 2004, Phil and Amy’s steadfast support of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has significantly increased awareness and donations to the foundation. Over the past ten years, through Phil and Amy’s efforts, the foundation has received nearly $2 million in support for its programs to provide college educations to the surviving children of fallen special operations personnel as well as financial support to the families of wounded special operations personnel. The funds raised include $500,000 from Phil and Amy personally though their giving program, the PGA TOUR’s “Birdies for the Brave” program, donations from Phil Mickelson fans, and also from the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation.
“Phil and Amy Mickelson’s support has made a significant impact on the lives of some very special people,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire, President and CEO, Special Operations Warrior Foundation. “The families of fallen warriors know that there are caring Americans who, like the Mickelsons, have not forgotten their sacrifices and loss.”