C.T. Pan’s annual trip home to Taipei during the winter break was extra special this time around.

With the help of his wife Michelle, the PGA TOUR star successfully raised US$120,000 for the First Social Welfare Foundation – an organisation supporting special needs children and disabled adults – through the staging of the inaugural C.T. Pan Charity Pro-Am at home last week.

“The amount of donation received was beyond our expectation,” said Pan, who is a one-time winner on TOUR.

Growing up in humble beginnings, Pan initially supported the foundation several years ago through personal donations and by providing food and clothing supplies. The foundation has development centres around Chinese Taipei and supports close to 800 people.

With charity being very much part of the PGA TOUR’s DNA, Pan has quickly learned to appreciate that athletes such as himself can do more for the less privileged and after tossing some ideas around, the plan to host a charity pro-am and dinner was mooted.

Pan said: “We first started supporting the First Social Welfare Foundation in 2015 with small amounts of donation and supplies. It was through a friend that we visited the facilities and after seeing the hard work that they put in to help kids with needs and adults with disabled conditions, I was very touched and we then decided to help in every way that we can.

“Charity is something which is very close to my heart as I grew up in a poor family. In my career, a lot of people helped me along the way. They didn’t ask for much in return and only said that if I became successful one day, I would need to help poor families and kids with special needs. I remember them telling me this vividly.”

The charity pro-am attracted 27 golfers and another 55 guests were hosted to a dinner which highlight of the night was an auction. Nearly US$45,000 was raised through the golf competition and another US$75,000 through the auctioning of memorabilia items signed by Pan.

“We anticipated raising about US$100,000 … Our guests were really touched and welcomed this initiative. The charity pro-am was a great success and I am very pleased.,” said Pan, a member of the 2019 International Team for the Presidents Cup.

“I definitely enjoyed my time at home very much. I managed to spend quality time with my mum, sisters and brothers. It’s been almost a year since I was back. Seeing my mother in healthy condition was very comforting too and we had a great time together.”

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