He’s dreamed the dream like so many others. Of playing for his boyhood big-league team. Of hitting the winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Of celebrating with teammates.
So understand why Allen Cameron of Springfield is so excited this summer. He gets to compete in the World Games of softball in July in Los Angeles, after serving as a motivator for athletes in the State Summer Games of the Special Olympics on May 29-31 in Springfield.
“We’ve got little kids in our area and we’re going to tell them the same things – don’t give up, listen to the veterans who have been here forever,” said Cameron, who was asked to deliver a motivational speech. “It has meant the world to me.”
Which is why Cameron and Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri is tipping its collective hat to the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.
The PGA Web.com Tour event has raised more than $11 million, including a record $1 million-plus last year for 46 charities. Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri steers its PCCC donations toward hosting sporting events throughout the year.
And here’s your chance to lend a hand to the tournament again. Businesses can sponsor various events of the PCCC and also donate gift cards valued at least $25 each.
The charities receive the full amount of the $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes tickets they sell. Fans who purchase the tickets not only receive entry into the tournament but also chances to win gift cards as well as $10,000 and even a 2015 Ford Mustang. The tournament is Aug. 13-16 at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield.
SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES
- HELP SPECIAL OLYMPICS OF THE OZARKS: Mainly, the organization asks for financial gifts that cover costs associated with hosting events. Call its office at 417-624-5517.
- FOR BUSINESSES: such as restaurants, clothing stores and entertainment stops, 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.
- 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.
- FOR GOLF FANS: The purchase of a $25 ticket means a four-day pass to the PCCC on Aug. 13-16 at Highland Springs Country Club as well as daily chances to win gift cards from the local businesses. Additionally, you’re automatically entered to win a $10,000 prize and a 2015 Ford Mustang.
- FOR TICKETS: Contact the local charity of your choice, simply because they receive revenue directly from those TLC Property Charity Sweepstakes tickets marked with their names.
- CONTACT: Call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.
About Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri
“I think people really don’t understand how much of a sporting event we make (the summer games),” said the Director of Development for Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri, Robin Anderson. “(Athletes) don’t just come and run around the track. They are very talented.”
Consider the way Special Olympics events have helped Cameron.
Cameron, 41, has competed in every event in the State Summer Games over the past three decades and has gravitated to his favorite sport, softball. The die-hard Kansas City Royals fan will play in the Special Olympics World Games in July in Los Angeles.
“I was 8 ½ years old when I started. I’m 41 now. It’s taken me a long time (to reach the World Games),” Cameron said. He later added, “I’m going to give back as much as I can. At some point, I’m going to be a head coach and give back.”
Cameron and other Special Olympics athletes also will volunteer during the PCCC.
It’s the local chapter’s way of giving back even more and by raising money for its own efforts, considering Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri receives a portion of the PCCC’s fundraising.
Anderson and her only other full-time staffer, Stevie Lain, as well as athlete-volunteers will man the tournament’s parking lots from the Monday qualifiers to the Sunday championship.
“It’s hard work. I’m not going to lie to you,” Anderson said.
But it’s worth it, she said.
Any revenue helps Special Olympics with its annual budget because the organization hosts competitions throughout the year.
For Anderson, call it a labor of love.
“I can’t ever imagine not doing this,” Anderson said. “I volunteered for 18 years before I was on staff. It’s more than just a job. The athletes teach me a lot more than I ever give back.”