Kia Motors America and LPGA Star Michelle Wie Donate $50,000 to Camp Pendleton’s Armed Services YMCA Operation Hero Program


Donation Honors Michelle Wie’s College Graduation and the Kia Classic LPGA Golf Tournament’s Return to La Costa Resort and Spa

  • Operation Hero provides after school tutoring and mentoring assistance to kindergarten and elementary students of military families stationed at Camp Pendleton

  • Wie is Kia Motors’ official golf ambassador and drives a Kia Soul
  • CARLSBAD, Calif., March 21, 2012 – On the eve of the third annual Kia Classic Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golf tournament at La Costa Resort and Spa, Kia Motors America (KMA) and two-time LPGA winner Michelle Wie paired up today to donate $50,000 to Operation Hero, one of the keystone programs of the nearby Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA). The funds, which are intended to help Operation Hero maintain staff and provide equipment and supplies to more than 375 kindergarten and elementary students at Camp Pendleton, commemorate Michelle Wie’s graduation from Stanford University. Operation Hero provides free mentoring and tutoring to at-risk elementary-aged children of military families living at Camp Pendleton, which is home to more than 100,000 men and women of the armed forces and their families.

    “As a Southern California-based company and one of the fastest growing auto brands in the U.S., Kia Motors is deeply committed to supporting the local communities in which we do business,” said Tom Loveless, vice president, sales, KMA. “Operation Hope delivers much needed services and assistance to the children of our military service men and women and it is our privilege to make a contribution in partnership with Michelle Wie and celebrate her college graduation in a special and meaningful way.”

    “Our after school program, Operation Hero, is our most critical program for the young military children attending the five elementary schools on Camp Pendleton,” said George Brown, Executive Director, Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA. “While reducing their stress levels, the program provides the children skills to be successful socially and academically at both home and school.”

    The donation comes prior to Michelle Wie’s participation in the third annual Kia Classic, from March 19-25 at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., in which a strong field of the LPGA players from around the world will compete for a $1.7 million purse with the winner taking home a first-place check for $255,000 and one of the first range-topping Optima Limited sedans1 to roll off the production line at Kia’s U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia.

    Kia’s Unprecedented Growth
    Kia Motors is the one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America’s full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality2 and the industry’s highest brand loyalty ranking3. Kia’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia KMMG is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds the company’s two best-selling vehicles in the U.S. the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan4. Kia’s value and technology-laden 2012 model year lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

    About Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA
    The Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton has served the military community since 1943 with programs and services enhancing their lives with a focus towards the junior enlisted ranks by reducing deployment stress, improving their quality of life, strengthening families, and making military life easier for over 58,000 active duty and family members each year.

    About Kia Motors America
    Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

    Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website For media information, including photography, visit

    1 Expected to be available later this year
    2 Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study
    3 Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis
    4 The Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built at KMMG

    Leave a Comment