Yao Ming and Michael Phelps Help Raise Big Funds at Mission Hills Pro-Am

World Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament Raises US$500,000 for Yao Ming and UNICEF

Mission Hills Group, one of China’s leading golf and tourism operators, announced that the 2012 Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am has raised a total of US$500,000 for the tournament’s charitable partners — Yao Ming and UNICEF.

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the international sports scene descended on the tropical island of Hainan in southern China for the three day spectacular.

Billed as ‘China’s top entertainment event of the year,’ Celebs in attendance included: Yao Ming, Michael Phelps, Ronaldo, Stephen Hendry, Pat Cash, Andy Garcia, Adrien Brody, Ryan Reynolds, Minka Kelly, Matt Kuchar, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell, Simon Dyson, Ian Woosnan, and Tony Jacklin.

Commenting on the donation, former NBA star Yao Ming said, “I’m extremely grateful to Mission Hills and everybody involved with this fantastic event for making this donation. We’ll continue to improve the lives of children both in China and the US and these funds will go directly towards projects we’ve got underway in these countries.” (Yao even received a custom-made golf club for the event)

Soccer great, Ronaldo said: “It is an honor and pleasure to be here and I’m very excited to play golf at Mission Hills. In fact, after my retiring from football, I start to play golf to do the exercise. I like to play golf like I used to play football and also I hope to lose some weight through this game.”

Of note: Michael Phelps is apparently transitioning into a pretty good golfer with the help of Tiger Woods’ former coach Hank Haney.

“I had the chance to talk to Matt Kuchar yesterday coming down the 17th and we talked about it,” said Phelps. “He actually said to me I had a good, smooth swing so for me it’s all about getting muscle memory and learning how to do the right shot at the right time, every time. The more time I can spend on the range and with Hank, I’ll see a lot more results.”

But Phelps wasn’t ALL about golf that weekend, as usual, he found a pool and made time to provide fellow American golfer, Matt Kuchar’s children with swimming lessons at resort.

Judy Chen, Chairman of the Hong Kong Committee for the event’s other charitable partner, UNICEF, added, “We’re delighted to accept this donation from the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am. UNICEF Hong Kong has enjoyed a long-standing and successful relationship with both celebrities and the world of sport and we hope that through initiatives such as this, we can increase the reach of our work and continue to improve the lives of children in China and around the world.”

Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group, Dr. Ken Chu said, “It’s an honor to be able to make this donation to two such worthwhile charitable partners. It’s always been Mission Hills’ objective to use golf as a force for good and we’re extremely appreciative to the players, our commercial partners and all the fans that came to Mission Hills Haikou and made the 2012 World Celebrity Pro-Am such a great success.”

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