SALT LAKE CITY — Christmas has come a little early for 14 local charities that participated in the Utah Championship Tickets FORE Charity program.

Organizers of Utah's only official PGA Tour event on the Nationwide Tour announced a contribution of $19,790 to the participating charities on Monday.

The Tickets FORE Charity program allowed local, non-profit organizations to sell event passes and retain 90 percent of the proceeds from their sales.

Utah charities participating in the program included the Junior League of SLC, the Road Home, Jewish Family Service, Volunteers of America, The Children's Center, Westridge Academy, Adopt a Native Elder, United Way of Salt Lake, Ghandi Peace Center, Sealants for Smiles, Juan Diego Home and School, Regents Caring Foundation, Utah Animal Adoption Center, and the Junior Golf Academy Foundation.

The Junior Golf Academy Foundation led all charities by raising $8,585.

"We've always tried to make our event about more than just a 'golf tournament,' and the Tickets FORE Charity program is a key element that allows us to do that," said tournament director Mike Smith. "Utah golf fans have the opportunity to buy a ticket to see some of the best golfers in the world, and 90 percent of the money they spend on tickets stays in our community and helps these deserving charities."

Tournament organizers will bring back Tickets FORE Charity for the 2011 tournament. Charities wishing to participate can visit or call 801-495-GOLF for more information.

—Deseret News staff