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McIlroy Establishes Foundation to Benefit Youth


After signing an agreement with powerhouse Nike that, according to reports, will pay him $20 million annually for 10 years, Rory McIlroy plans to use his newfound wealth and fame to benefit children.

The top-ranked player in the world has announced the formation of the Rory Foundation, which he hopes will be a vehicle to help children worldwide.

The Rory Foundation's first fundraising initiative is called "The 6 Bags Project." He will carry a bag with the logo of a different children's charity at each of his first six starts of 2013. The bag will then be auctioned at www.roryfoundation.com, with the proceeds going to the charity on the bag.

The six tournaments, along with the charity that will benefit, include:

HSBC Abu Dhabi - Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship - Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson
Honda Classic - Child Protection Team of the Palm Beaches
WGC-Cadillac Championship - First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association
Shell Houston Open - Chinquapin School
The Masters - to be announced

More innovative fundraisers are also under consideration.

"When I was younger my parents sacrificed everything to allow me to play the game I love," the 23-year-old McIlroy said. "Having that support from my family gave me the opportunity to chase my dreams. But I know that every child is not so fortunate. My aim is that the Rory Foundation will support children's charities big and small, around the world, that try to give kids that helping hand."

"This association with Rory will not only have a significant impact on children and young people who look up to Rory and are inspired by him, but will also help to maintain Rory's very important links to Northern Ireland and he moves increasingly into a global circuit," said Gillian Cleery, CEO of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.

The tournament director of the Houston Open, Steve Timms, provided McIlroy a list of charity options. Chosen was the Chinquapin School, which dedicated to students who excel despite having financially disadvantaged backgrounds. The students also serve as standard-bearers at the tournament.

"It's going to be awesome,'' Timms said. ''I thought it was one of the most novel things I've ever encountered . . . Notwithstanding the money he raises, because we don't know how much that will be, it creates such an awareness with the No. 1 player in the world at this time showcasing the (charity)."

''I had a childhood - a great childhood - and if the Rory Foundation can help one child achieve a better quality of life, then job done,'' McIlroy said.