TOUR Championship sponsorship provides a means to help local orgainizations.

Southern Company, co-presenting sponsor of THE TOUR Championship this week at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, is donating $100,000 to be divided evenly between the East Lake Community Foundation and The First Tee Program at Atlanta’s John A. White Park.

The East Lake Community Foundation is charged with revitalizing the East Lake neighborhood. The First Tee, an initiative of World Golf Foundation Inc., aims to bring golf to youngsters who previously have not had the opportunity to play the game. The First Tee plans to create hundreds of new golf facilities throughout the United States over the next 10 years.

At Atlanta’s John A. White Park, plans call for expanding the five-hole course to nine holes and installing new greens and tees on existing holes. A practice facility and short-game area also will be built. The park now serves about 85 youth in an after-school program and about 95 in a summer camp program. Both programs will be expanded significantly when renovations are completed.

“Both of these organizations have played a role in transforming the lives of people for the better,” said Bill Dahlberg, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. “We’re proud to be a small part of these very important efforts.”

Another beneficiary of Southern Company’s involvement will be Christina’s Smile, a PGA TOUR-affiliated, non-profit organization that – under a Southern Company sponsorship -- will provide free dental care to 120 East Lake children this week. Local dental professionals will provide services ranging from cleanings and X-rays to fillings and extractions. For more information on contributing, call 512-335-1445.

One of the TOUR’s most notable events, THE TOUR Championship features the top 30 PGA TOUR members on the official TOUR money list, including defending champion David Duval.

THE TOUR Championship, the annual season-ending tournament of the PGA TOUR, is co-presented by Southern Company and Mercedes-Benz. The championship takes place at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club -- home course of golfing legend and one-time Southern Company board member Bobby Jones -- and features the top 30 money-winners on the PGA TOUR. Participants will include such TOUR mainstays as defending champion David Duval, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Justin Leonard, and Payne Stewart, as well as 1998 Masters and British Open champion Mark O’Meara, 1998 U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen and 1998 PGA Champion Vijay Singh.

When next year’s top 30 money-winners tee it up for THE 1999 TOUR Championship in Houston, Southern Company will be sole the presenting sponsor.

THE TOUR Championship TV Coverage:

Oct. 29 , 2 - 5 p.m. - ESPN Oct. 30 , 2- 5 p.m. - ESPN

Oct. 31 , 1:30 – 3:30 p.m - ABC

Nov. 1, 2 - 5 p.m. - ABC

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), is an international energy company with $35 billion in assets through regional utilities and operations around the world. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the world’s largest independent power producers. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, Southern Company supplies electricity in 10 countries on four continents. It also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services and Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.