Northern Ohio Golf Charities recently announced the return of the Mayors Cup Challenge for 2018.

The Mayors Cup Challenge is a friendly competition between local governments to encourage their respective employees to serve as volunteers at the 2018 Bridgestone Invitational, which is scheduled for Aug. 1 through 5 at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

The invitation-only tournament, one of the four World Golf Championships, brings the world’s top professional golfers to Northeast Ohio and helps generate more than a million dollars annually for Northeast Ohio charities.

The event’s annual economic impact is estimated at more than $21 million. Each year, more than 1,000 volunteers, partner with the PGA TOUR to put on the week-long event that is the Bridgestone Invitational. The friendly competition features government employees from Akron, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Green, Stow and the County of Summit.

This year’s Mayors Cup Challenge includes criteria which recognizes not only new volunteer participation, but also event ticket sales, Ambassador of Golf Ticket sales and volunteer participation by the elected leaders themselves.

The municipal group which performs the best across the four criteria, will be recognized as the 2018 Mayors Cup winner.

Presentation of the Mayors Cup is set to be made at a special event during tournament week, in August, at Firestone Country Club.

"Our volunteers are the key to our event’s success and it takes a team effort to do what we do; raising more than $1 million each year for local charities while putting on the best tournament on the PGA TOUR," said Bob Zwisler, 2018 tournament volunteer chairman. "Last year, our inaugural Mayors Cup Challenge was a great success and we’re excited that our local government leaders are again eager to participate."

"The Bridgestone Invitational has a phenomenal volunteer family that annually comes together to put on a community event that is showcased to the world," said Don Padgett III, Bridgestone Invitational executive director. "We are excited to partner with area cities and Summit County to add new members to this family through the Mayor’s Cup Challenge."

Northern Ohio Golf Charities is the non-profit volunteer organization that has helped operate professional golf tournaments in Akron for more than 60 years.

Since 1984, NOGC through its efforts have helped raise and distribute more than $27 million to worthy charities throughout Northeast Ohio.

The event’s signature charities include Akron Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Additionally, NOGC annually provides charitable grants from tournament proceeds to other worthy Northeast Ohio charities.

The Mayors Cup Challenge is set to extend through June 29. For more information, contact Nancy Musci at 330-245-2302 or email atnogcadmin@neo.rr.com.