SHERWOOD, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s a staggering number: 42 million people living in poverty here in the United States. It’s what motivates golfers each year to gather for the U.S. Venture Open.

“It’s a really amazing event where everyone comes together from the golfers to the volunteers,” said Jaime Kriewaldt, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Wisconsin.

Hundreds of people on Wednesday hitting the links for a cause that helps so many.

“It’s really about being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself. And the fact we all come together to support all of our community is a pretty phenomenal day,” added Kriewaldt.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin is one of dozens of organizations that benefit from the golf outing.

“The whole goal today is to end poverty in northeastern Wisconsin,” said Greg Vandenberg of U.S. Venture. In fact, the goal is to raise more than $4.5 million during the day-long event.

It’s considered the largest one-day charitable event in the entire U.S.

“We really try to focus on getting the upstream on poverty and what we mean by that is that we know there’s the emergency needs of shelter and food, but we also know that we need to be getting upstream,” said Vandenberg.

One-hundred percent of the money goes back to where we live. It’s a unique program that’s already making a difference.

“Because of the funding that we’ve received, we’ve been able to innovate and be able to expose you to college and career readiness opportunities that students might not have the opportunity to through school,” added Kriewaldt.

In all, helping others one swing at a time.

Since it began in 1986, the U.S. Venture Open has raised more than $55 million for non-profits in northeast Wisconsin.