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Travelers Championship benefits more than 100 charities

The Travelers Championship officially announced Wednesday morning that the 2020 tournament held in June generated more than $1.6 million toward its 115 charities.

Among those organizations benefiting are two new ones: CT-4, a non-profit that is helping fund COVID-19 relief efforts across the state; and the University of New Haven’s Center for Advanced Policing and Tow Youth Justice Institute, which is receiving a grant from Travelers for its program that will help train and educate police officers to help improve their relationships in their communities.

Travelers made the announcement in a zoom call on Wednesday that included a panel discussion about the organizations. Andy Bessette, the executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Travelers, praised what both organizations are doing for the community.

“What they are doing for the communities of Connecticut is critical,” Bessette said. “This is our home, the place we love. We have to take care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, I don’t know who is going to take care of us.”

Dr. Lorenzo Boyd, the vice president of diversity and inclusion at the University of New Haven, represents the Center for Advanced Policing at the university as its director. He said the charity dollars from Travelers have already gone toward paying for training for police to help with the “real disconnect between the police and the communities, particularly communities of color” and instead build those relationships.

“Instead of building a better cop, we wanted to build a better person and usher them into policing,” Boyd said. “We did that by helping them understand levels of compassion, levels of empathy, we wanted to give them better communication skills and we wanted to give them critical thinking skills.”

Dr. Danielle Cooper, an associate professor of criminal justice at the university, reiterated on Wednesday’s call the need for “effective policing, community policing, police engagement” to help them better serve the communities they work in, especially with youths.

“We hear this concept of community policing, bit there is still not enough of it physically happening,” Cooper said.

Ted Yang, CEO and Co-Founder of 4-CT, said the money generated from the Travelers Championship has helped provide funds for its 4-CT Card program. These are debit cards provided to healthcare centers to be given to individuals who lack health care due to lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Individuals would spend on their most basic needs, food, safety, shelter, clothing, money replacing money lost, income lost,” Yang said. “More than two-thirds of the people who receive these cards have lost their job.”

Said Bessette: “Both of these are great groups doing tremendous work. We’re so proud as the title sponsor of the Travelers Championship to be a part of the relationship with this. Let’s grow this.”

Travelers also announced on Wednesday that Operation Fuel and Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders are the first two charities that will be impacted by next year’s tournament, which is scheduled to be held June 24-27 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

Dustin Johnson, currently the world’s No. 1 golfer, will be the defending champion.

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli

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