KLIFE Polk County: Boosting teens’ confidence

Chuck and Jamie Martin lead Polk County KLIFE.
Chuck and Jamie Martin lead KLIFE Polk County.

To 2015 Bolivar High School graduate Annie Roberts, a Christ-centered organization called Polk County KLIFE has meant, well, everything.

“I was relatively … not shy but I wouldn’t talk as much. I didn’t have a lot to say. I struggled with self-worth,” said Roberts, a KLIFE member since the sixth grade. “But things changed at KLIFE. It just grows your relationship with the Lord. Being a kid in small groups, it’s been a growing experience and has meant so much.”

Roberts represents one of the many reasons why the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to have KLIFE Polk County on board for a second consecutive year. The tournament, an annual PGA Web.com Tour stop in August in Springfield, has gifted almost $13 million to children’s charities in its 26-year history.

KLIFE certainly can be a positive influence in the lives of young people, and is hoping to expand its reach with your help.

About Polk County KLIFE

KLIFE-camp

Roberts is emblematic of KLIFE’s success stories. She has been a leader in the organization’s “klubs” and has found a calling. She is more out-going and was on the dance team at Bolivar High School. She will attend Southwest Baptist University this school year and is pursuing a degree in secondary education.

You see, she doesn’t shy away from standing in front of a classroom. Helping kids is a top priority.

“My freshman year in high school, I wouldn’t have even thought of SBU,” said Roberts, who wants to move into a leadership role at KLIFE. “Now if you ask me, I don’t want to go anywhere else. I feel like the Lord wants me to be there.”

Through KLIFE, Roberts has achieved just what the organization sets out to do: build relationships centered on the gospel.

The organization began as a follow-up ministry for Kanakuk Kamps in the 1980s, but the ministry has grown to reach both Kanakuk campers as well as students who do not attend Kanakuk.

These days, KLIFE has 31 chapters across the country, and a local board governs each chapter. And, most importantly, organizers try to keep it relevant for today’s youths. The Polk County chapter offers hangouts such as the 5th Quarter following football games, or snow sledding as well as a big trip each semester.

As Roberts put it, “This year, we started workshop clubs and it’s a good way to go from the excitement of games to the excitement of the lesson.”

Ben Salmon, chapter director of KLIFE Polk County, concurs.

“That’s one of the things we like about it,” Salmon said. “Everybody wants to feel they belong. We want to show that (all students) are great and there is a place where they belong.”

RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES

  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships. Skyboxes on the 9th and 18th greens are a great way to entertain clients — and we also offer The Ultimate, which includes air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray. Or, sponsor the daily newsletter, website, water coolers and so forth. We also have a number of Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza.The Ultimate
  • WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.Win this truck
  • SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.

    Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
    Dawie vander Walt won the 2015 PCCC (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)
  • KLIFE POLK COUNTY: The non-profit is a youth ministry focused on mentoring, coaching and disciplining teens. To help or donate through the PCCC, call 417-266-3500.

 

Charity spotlight: Ambassadors for Children

Talk about feeling like a million bucks.

An energetic 12-year-old boy, who was to re-enter foster care, recently stopped by Ambassadors for Children and its Kid’s Closet. Turned out, he had never worn new clothes before. That was, until he walked out of the dressing room at Ambassadors for Children – and, as a result, soon found inspiration in the arts.

“In the caseworker’s words, ‘He was 10 feet tall and bullet proof!’” said Denee Fay, Executive Director of Ambassadors for Children. “She snapped a picture of him on her phone, and he immediately asked, ‘Can I wear these home?’”

Ambassadors for Children really does go the extra mile, providing dresses for teens attending prom and other social events.
Ambassadors for Children really does go the extra mile, providing dresses for teens attending prom and other social events.

Such feel-good stories are all over the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, the annual PGA Web.com Tour stop in Springfield. The tournament has gifted almost $13 million to children’s charities in the past 26 years, and the PCCC is proud to have Ambassadors for Children on board again.

After all, you never know many lives you could truly touch. Ambassadors for Children supports kids affected by neglect and abuse by offering free clothes, hygiene and much more.

“Child abuse and neglect leaves a lasting impact on a child’s perspective of themselves,” Fay said. “We often see older siblings taking on the role of a parent to younger siblings. Ambassadors for Children is available to meet critical needs and provide opportunities for them to be kids again. A visit to the Kids’ Closet to receive clothing is only the first step to restore self-esteem.”

At Ambassadors for Children, helping kids affected by neglect and abuse is priority No. 1, Director Denee Fay says.
At Ambassadors for Children, helping kids affected by neglect and abuse is priority No. 1, Director Denee Fay says.

Fay went on.

“Our foster kiddos soon find out there is a world of possibility available to them beyond basic clothing and hygiene needs,” Fay added.

Such was the case of the 12-year-old boy. Ambassadors for Children not only provided new clothes but also a duffle Pack-A-Bag stuffed with hygiene items, a blanket and some art supplies.

Who knew the art supplies would have such an impact? He quickly started drawing detailed designs on the drawing pad and, his caseworker realizing his interest, enrolled the boy in art therapy. Soon, he was “finding his voice” through the arts.

“I would have never known he had an interest in art if that drawing pad had not been in his bag. There is no other way to say it. It was a God moment,” the caseworker wrote to Ambassadors for Children, which shared the story recently. “He was so struck by these new clothes and the difference in how he looked. We came back to the residential facility, and he was showing everyone his new clothes and camouflage bag. It made a huge impact on our staff who could see such a change in his confidence.”

Here’s how you can help:

SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES

  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza  .PCCC-fansguide
  • WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.Win this truck
  • SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400. 

    Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
    Dawie vander Walt won the 2016 PCCC (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)
  • AMBASSADORS FOR CHILDREN: The organization provides quality services and support to foster families in Greene, Christian and Taney counties. Call their office at 417-708-0565.