Two special causes: Special Olympics benefits thanks to PCCC

Sprigfield's Allen Cameron will play in the World Games of softball in July in  Los Angeles, thanks in part to the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.
Springfield’s Allen Cameron will play in the World Games of softball in July in Los Angeles, thanks in part to the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.

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.”

 

At River Street Food Pantry, families give back

Chad Colba and his family have benefited from the River Street Food Pantry in Carthage -- and they give back, too.
Chad Colba and his family have benefited from the River Street Food Pantry in Carthage — and they give back, too.

He could’ve thrown in the towel a long time ago but refused. This is Chad Colba’s life: Wife struck by cancer, himself awaiting medical clearance to return to work and all while trying to feed his son.

And yet talk about being stubborn — in a positive way. Folks can find him not only in line but also regularly assisting the non-profit River Street Food Pantry in Carthage.

“I want to give back, but I don’t have the money to help and I can’t just sit at home and do nothing,” Colba said. “This is a positive place for me to be. I am blessed to help a ministry that feeds so many per month.”

Talk about a success story of the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.

River Street Food Pantry is returning for a third year to the PGA Web.com Tour event, which for the past 25 years has raised millions of dollars for Ozark-area charities. The pantry has turned its dollars from the PCCC into real help.

In other words, businesses and golf fans who support the PCCC should know their dollars can be extremely effective – and positive. Businesses can sponsor various events of the PCCC and also donate gift cards valued at least $25 each.

For example, the purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket goes directly to the charity selling the ticket. Even better, fans who purchase the tickets not only receive entry into the tournament – it’s considered the Triple-A circuit of pro golf — but also can win gift cards as well as $10,000 and even a 2015 Ford Mustang.

“We were able to purchase food at a reduced rate that supplied food to hungry families in southwest Missouri for nine months because of the Price Cutter Charity Championship,” said Regina Shank, Director of River Street Food Pantry. “We are thankful to be chosen as one of the charities, blessed by this generous group of people.”

SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES

  • HELP the River Street Food Pantry: Mainly, the organization is always in need of donations to supply food for the needy in southwest Missouri.
  • FOR BUSINESES: 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. You’re also 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.
  • CONTACTS: To assist the River Street Food Pantry, call 417-359-8800 or visit its website at riverstreetfoodpantry.com. To contact, the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff, call 417-887-3400.

About the River Street Food Pantry

Regina Shank directs the River Street Food Pantry in Carthage.
Regina Shank directs the River Street Food Pantry.

Colba is a volunteer now at the Pantry, having received assistance when the non-profit was located in a back parking lot off the Carthage square.

His wife, Anita, eventually was diagnosed with cancer, and the family fell on hard financial times. Fortunately, she is on the road to recovery, but times remain difficult. They also are feeding their son, Jacob, and granddaughter Hailey, as all attend the Wednesday hot meal. Anita is taking online courses.

“The people here,” Colba said, “are genuine, caring and real.”

River Street Food Pantry is a charitable non-profit organization based in Carthage. It’s devoted to feeding the hungry in southwest Missouri, and that can be a challenge these days. Almost 18 percent of people in Jasper County don’t know where their next meal is coming from – a situation called food insecurity.

Fortunately, the Pantry serves about 400 families a month by appointment. The services reach older adults with limited incomes and families with children that are food insecure.

The Pantry asks that families schedule an appointment, at which time they’ll be able to shop for a grocery cart of food, including government commodities, diapers if needed and feminine hygiene products. At the end of the shopping trip, if they would like prayer, they have an opportunity to receive prayer.

During summer months, the River Street Food Pantry hosts a program called Kids’ Café, which feeds kids a free lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. It’s a way to help when school is out of session. The pantry also hands out backpacks of food to the kids on Fridays as way to help them get through the weekend.

“Our purpose is to feed, equip, empower and restore hope to those who are living in poverty and others who are temporarily in need,” the pantry notes. “We are not here to enable but to empower resources, encouragement and practice help through the provision of food, diapers, teaching and training.”