By AccountingWEB Staff
and golf champion Phil Mickelson
have paired to launch "Blue for Books," a nationwide charitable initiative designed to put thousands of books into the hands of children in need, through the sale of KPMG blue golf hats, just like the KPMG hat that Mickelson wears on tour.
Phil Mickelson will wear the new KPMG blue hat for the first time during the Shell Houston Open held March 26 to April 1 at Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas, where he is the defending champion.
"For the first time, golf fans everywhere will have access to the same KPMG hat as Phil," said John Veihmeyer, chairman and CEO of KPMG. "We created Blue for Books as a way for Phil's fans to be able to wear his hat while also supporting KPMG's Family for Literacy (KFFL)."
"We understand that the toughest roadblock to children's literacy is access to books, which is why we established KFFL and teamed with the nonprofit First Book
. Together, we're helping to combat illiteracy by putting new books into the hands of children from low-income communities throughout the United States. KPMG and Phil share a passion for doing whatever we can to help children in need get off to a good start in life," Veihmeyer said.
Mickelson added, "Like KPMG, Amy [Mickelson] and I are committed to education. We really feel that education is the way to a better life and the foundation for success. This program is a great way to demonstrate our shared commitment and to make a positive impact on literacy efforts in our country."
Mickelson will alternately wear the blue cap with the current white and black cap during tournaments. The fitted blue golf hats will be available to the public on PhilsBlueHat.com
starting March 26. The hats will be sold for $29.95 each, with 100 percent of the net proceeds ($7.50) from each sale going to First Book for the purchase of three new books for children of low-income families.
To launch Blue for Books, KPMG will be providing 1,500 new books to the YMCA's Willow Creek Center on Wednesday, March 28. The books represent an initial donation from KPMG to kick off this charitable program. The Willow Creek Center serves as an after-school program for at-risk youth.
Members of KPMG's Houston office, along with cofounder of KFFL Beth Veihmeyer (wife of KPMG's chairman and CEO), will be on hand to distribute the books and read to the children at the Willow Creek Center. Additionally, hundreds of KPMG people from the firm's Houston office will be at the Shell Houston Open to raise awareness of the program by sporting Phil's Blue Hat out on the course.
Henry Keizer, KPMG deputy chairman and COO said, "Our firm's corporate responsibility emphasis is on youth and education, which reflects our belief that we have a responsibility to ensure that, as they grow into adulthood, all children can acquire the skills they need to become successful adults."
The program is unique in that it harnesses the energy and enthusiasm of KPMG's extended family – partners, employees, retirees, interns, alumni, and their families and friends. In addition to raising money for KFFL, volunteers visit classrooms, read to children, and deliver new books to low-income children. In many cases, they are the first books their families have ever owned.
KPMG has delivered nearly two million books to children in local communities across the country through this initiative, which began four years ago in cooperation with the literacy nonprofit organization First Book.
Kyle Zimmer, First Book's president and cofounder, said that the KPMG community "is instrumental in helping us bring new books to under-resourced schools and programs. They are one of our strongest and most creative partners. The Blue for Books campaign exemplifies their level of commitment.