They’re all big-leaguers at Champion Athletes of the Ozarks

Colson Saner and his friend have been greatly supported by Champion Athletes of the Ozarks.
Colson Saner (left) and his friend, Rustyn (center), have been greatly supported by Champion Athletes of the Ozarks.

Every kid who has played sports just wants to feel like a big-leaguer. To put on the uniform. To be part of the team. To play a game they see so many others playing.

Yet when Colson Saner was about 7, his parents wondered if those days would ever happen again. Sure, Colson participated in organized sports. But as he grew older, years after being born three months premature, they began to see worrisome signs – signs that ultimately led to a diagnosis of autism and cerebral palsy.

“We went to the school counselor and that’s when we got involved in Champion Athletes,” Melissa Saner said. “It’s really a physical challenge for them to fit into the mainstream (sports). But we’ve found Champion Athletes, and they’ve become a second family.”

Indeed, the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to partner with Champion Athletes of the Ozarks, which offers sports opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.

The golf tournament, part of the PGA’s Web.com Tour, has generated almost $12 million for Ozarks-area charities in its 25-year history – including a record $1 million-plus last year alone.

Now here’s your chance to help Colson and all other Champion Athletes.

SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES

Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity -- and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity — and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • HELP CHAMPION ATHLETES OF THE OZARKS: To help the Springfield-based non-profit in any way or if you have a child or adult eager to participate in sports, call Champion Athletes at 417-890-1599.
  • FOR GOLF FANS, WIN PRIZES: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket serves as a four-day tournament pass, but it’s better than that. It enters you to win daily prizes during the tournament as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • TICKET REVENUE GOES WHERE: Contact the local charity of your choice, simply because they receive revenue directly from those TLC Property Charity Sweepstakes tickets marked with their names.
  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Additionally, restaurants, clothing stores and entertainment stops and such are asked to 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.
  • WHEN, WHERE: The tournament is Aug. 7-17 at Highland Springs Country Club, with the pros beginning play Aug. 13. Contact the PCCC staff at 417-887-3400.

About Champion Athletes

ChampionAthletes-group

Through sports training and competition, Champion Athletes builds self-esteem, self-confidence and social skills for children and adults with disabilities – and does so in a positive environment.

Even better, Champion Athletes also has a main focus on life skills by offering classes in reading, basic money, math, storm preparedness and a wellness and fitness program.

It’s operated by Director Susan Miles.

“It is a privilege for me to see our individuals reach their full potential,” Miles said. “It is an honor to know that I had a part in their growth.”

Champion Athletes was formed in March 2002 and established to enhance athletes’ lives, build successful individuals and to expand their opportunities through sports training, competition and new activities. Most importantly, the programs are offered at no cost.

That’s a bonus for the Saner family, but not the reason they continue participating in Champion Athletes.

“If we’re not doing a regular school or family function, we’re with Champion Athletes two or three times a week,” Melissa said. “Susan and her husband, Danny, have become some of our best friends.”

Champion Athletes of the Ozarks helps those with developmental disabilities.
Champion Athletes of the Ozarks helps those with developmental disabilities.

Saner couldn’t say enough, and understandably so. Colson participates mostly in basketball and soccer, but he’s also played many other sports thanks to Champion Athletes.

“People look at it as a sports organization, and it is to a point,” Melissa said. “But it also builds life skills. It’s also a place for other moms like me to talk about things only we understand. We’re all in the same boat together, and it’s like we all feel like a family. So it’s wonderful to be with this organization.”

For many Ozarks families, Fordland Clinic is ‘a lifesaver’

Fordland Clinic serves kids and elderly in need of medical and dental care.
On of the PCCC’s charities, Fordland Clinic serves kids and elderly in need of medical and dental care.

A pastor in a rural farming community of Webster County puts it this way about the Fordland Clinic: “Five generations of my family have been treated at the clinic. It has a special place in my heart. It’s been a life-saver.”

Those words come from Nick Inman, pastor of the Elkland Independent Methodist Church. Thanks to the clinic, his rare liver infection was detected. And thanks to the clinic, many other county families – many that he knows personally – have had their dental coverage paid for.

“In the rural communities, we’ve always had a history of having a close relationship with our doctor. You would know the doctor in social settings, in restaurants and neat events,” Inman said. “The Fordland Clinic has been like a family to my family.”

All of which are reasons why the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to call the Fordland Clinic a partner again this year. The golf tournament, part of the PGA’s Web.com Tour, has generated almost $12 million for Ozarks-area children’s charities in its 25-year history – including a record $1 million-plus last year.

And here is your chance to help Fordland Clinic.

SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES

Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity -- and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity — and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • HELP FORDLAND CLINIC: The clinic is a non-profit community health center and can be reached at 417-767-2273 for medical or 417-767-2100 for dental.
  • FOR GOLF FANS, WIN PRIZES: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket serves as a four-day tournament pass, but that’s just a start. You’re also entered to win daily prizes during the tournament as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • TICKET REVENUE GOES WHERE: Contact the local charity of your choice, simply because they receive revenue directly from those TLC Property Charity Sweepstakes tickets marked with their names.
  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Additionally, restaurants, clothing stores and entertainment stops and such are asked to 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.
  • WHEN, WHERE: The tournament is Aug. 7-17 at Highland Springs Country Club, with the pros playing beginning Aug. 13. Contact the PCCC staff at 417-887-3400.

About Fordland Clinic

FordlandClinic-dental

The Fordland Clinic is a non-profit community health center that meets federal requirements but does not accept federal funding. It sees everyone, regardless of income, six days a week.

However, it is not free. The clinic accepts Medicare and Medicaid, most insurance, and offers a sliding fee for the uninsured based on what patients earn. The PCCC dollars come in this way: Whatever the patient cannot cover, the dollars help to offset the cost. Or, if equipment is in need of repair, the dollars certainly help to pay for the fix.

FordlandClinic-kid

“We are here to help children who have never been to the dentist before,” said Whitney Keith, communications director for Fordland Clinic. “We want to be involved in the community. We want to give people good health care.”

Inman and his wife, Sarah, are proponents of the Fordland Clinic. In fact, he previously served on its board after going through his treatments – partly because Fordland Clinic offers tele-health, meaning that a patient can drive there and meet with a St. Louis doctor on a tele-conference

“I couldn’t ask for a better team to care of me,” Inman said. “I didn’t feel like a patient.”

He went on.

“The clinic serves our community in more than one way, not only for medical but for dental,” Inman said. “If you look at the Ozarks, one of the many needs is dental. I think that’s a great benefit for the Amish community and many other facets of the county.”

The PCCC – through its sponsors, volunteers, staff and the PGA Tour – is glad to help make a difference.

“A lot of good things come from it,” Keith said. “We greatly appreciate our partnership with the tournament.”