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May 4, 2017

Desert Classic Charities to present $10,000 donation to Guide Dogs of the Desert on Saturday, May 6

“Must Love Dogs” team of Julie Leonard and Dusty Knapp won tournament’s PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge at the 2017 CareerBuilder Challenge

LA QUINTA, Calif. – CareerBuilder Challenge volunteer Julie Leonard will join CareerBuilder Challenge operating arm Desert Classic Charities in presenting a $10,000 donation to charitable organization Guide Dogs of the Desert on Saturday, May 6, by virtue of her and co-volunteer Dusty Knapp having been named the PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge’s winning team at the 2017 CareerBuilder Challenge.

The check presentation, made through Desert Classic Charities on behalf of Astellas Pharma US, Inc, will take place during Guide Dogs of the Desert’s guide dog graduation ceremony from 12-1 p.m. PT on May 6 at the Guide Dogs of the Desert’s Santulli Auditorium (60735 Dillon Road, Whitewater, Calif.). The graduation event is free and open to the public, with free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream served to its guests from 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

“Dusty Knapp and Julie Leonard continuously go above and beyond to serve this tournament as volunteers and encourage charitable participation by other volunteers and the community,” CareerBuilder Challenge tournament services manager Kristi Hanousek said. “Volunteers like Dusty and Julie make it possible for Desert Classic Charities to continue its mission of helping to support local charities in the Coachella Valley.”

The PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge, sponsored by Myrbetriq® (mirabegron), is a “vote-for-me” competition which is taking place at 16 tournaments throughout the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season, and is designed to raise funds for charity while recognizing the talent, passion and commitment of the TOUR’s more-than 100,000 tournament volunteers nationwide – including nearly 1,000 from the Coachella Valley – who have helped the PGA TOUR achieve more than $2.14 billion in charitable giving.

During the PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge campaign, fans, friends and family of CareerBuilder Challenge volunteers were eligible to vote online for their favorite CareerBuilder Challenge volunteer from Nov. 8, 2016-Jan. 21, 2017.

At the end of the voting period, the team of Leonard and Knapp – appropriately named “Must Love Dogs” – accumulated a PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge-best 512 votes and, thus, was awarded the opportunity to choose a charitable entity (Guide Dogs of the Desert) to receive a $10,000 donation among those Desert Classic Charities already supports through the CareerBuilder Challenge.

“Since 1986, Guide Dogs of the Desert has been a grateful recipient of funding from Desert Classic Charities, and we value their continued trust, interest and support,” Guide Dogs of the Desert executive director Sarah Clapp said. “This contribution will be applied to medical checkups for the puppies and dogs in our program, ensuring their optimal health through their training to be a guide dog.”

Leonard, a La Quinta, Calif. resident, has been a CareerBuilder Challenge volunteer for about 10 years. She served the 2017 event as a volunteer on the player services committee while also assisting the marshal committee alongside her husband, Ray.

Knapp, a resident of Banning, Calif., has been a CareerBuilder Challenge volunteer for about nine years. He also won the PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge contest at the CareerBuilder Challenge during the 2015 tournament.

Through the PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge, top-ranking tournaments also have the ability to earn additional charitable funding based on the total number of votes earned collectively by volunteers and the tournament. A total of 71 CareerBuilder Challenge volunteer teams collected 2,900 votes through the 2017 event, and they had the opportunity to win prizes based on the number of votes they collected. To learn more about the PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge, visit

Those interested in volunteering for the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge – from Jan. 15-21, 2018 – can visit the CareerBuilder Challenge website at and click on the “Be a Volunteer” link, or e-mail CareerBuilder Challenge Tournament Services Manager Kristi Hanousek at The tournament offers a variety of volunteer committees to choose from, including Marshals, Player Services, Hospitality, Transportation, Scoring and Media.

Largely due to its corps of volunteers, many of whom travel from all over the U.S. and Canada to be involved in the Coachella Valley’s longest-running charitable event, the CareerBuilder Challenge has raised more than $58 million for local charities since 1960. The Guide Dogs of the Desert donation announcement marks the second donation being made on behalf of Desert Classic Charities this year. In March, it presented a $10,000 donation to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles/Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center.

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