Fill the Stadium Advocate Clinches Victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On Sunday, October 3, professional golfer Sam Burns achieved a one-shot victory over Nick Watney at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi, earning his second PGA Tour win. Burns cemented himself as a top contender in the world of professional golf, with PGA Tour representatives calling him “a legitimate superstar.”
In addition to his love for golf, there is another arena that Burns is passionate about, and that is his affiliation with Compassion International’s Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative, which has been providing essential food, medical care, and support to those who are severely impoverished due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compassion’s CEO Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado is determined to reach Fill the Stadium’s goal of helping 70,000 children in crisis. To date, over $32 million has been raised for nearly 65,000 children and their families, but they must still “fill the stadium” and reach all 70,000 kids at grave risk of hunger, or worse.
“This past year, everyone has experienced some type of adverse change in their lives due to the pandemic,” stated Burns. “The children who are being helped by the Fill the Stadium team experienced changes that were devastating. They need to have those negative changes reversed—this effort is truly making a difference in the lives of these children. Joining my fellow athletes at Compassion International is a way for my wife, Caroline and me to support this critical change, and to serve God as well.”
Mellado commented, “We admire Sam for his commitment to impact children in great need around the globe. This has been a breakout year for Sam on the golf course as well as in his involvement with alleviating child poverty and helping ‘fill the stadium.’”
After a year of canceled games and vacant stadiums because of the pandemic, the image of an empty stadium is one that all athletes and fans can relate to—and as satisfying as it is to see fans returning to sports arenas, it is even more critical to make sure that Compassion’s “stadium” is filled.
“We have all experienced the reality of empty stadiums,” says the Fill the Stadium team. “The average NFL stadium holds 70,000 seats. We need to reach that many kids. This effort desperately needs a caring, prayerful, and thoughtful community to join together in this critical relief.”
Many athletes including Burns hold co-leadership roles in this charitable team effort: Alyssa Naeher, a member of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team (which won a Bronze Medal in Tokyo); Nick Foles, professional football MVP quarterback; Adam Engel of the Chicago White Sox; Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Carson Palmer, former professional quarterback; Devin and Jason McCourty, NFL defensive backs; Nate Solder of the New York Giants; Jaccob Slavin of the Carolina Hurricanes; Brock Huard, FOX sports broadcaster and former professional quarterback; and many others. Steve Stenstrom, president of Pro Athletes Outreach, is also playing a lead role.
To learn more about this effort, visit the Fill the Stadium website, as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Founded in 1952, Compassion International is a Christian child development organization that works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion revolutionized the fight against global poverty by working exclusively with the Church to lift children out of spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. Compassion partners with more than 8,000 churches in 25 countries to deliver its holistic child development program to over 2 million babies, children, and young adults. Its child sponsorship program has been validated through independent, empirical research.