Just like big-league baseball teams, children’s charities of the Ozarks employ staffs full of go-getters, and usually several emerge with so much energy for the job that it’s hard to ignore.
So when it comes to Springfield Advocates for Youth, you cannot miss Gary Camp. Or his wife, Gerrie, or Bob and Bonnie Samuels. And that’s a great thing.
This summer – like so many summers before – Camp and Co. have been out all over the Ozarks trying to sell tickets to the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, a part of the PGA Tour’s annual Web.com Tour stop in Springfield.
The tournament has generated almost $12 million for children’s charities in its 25-year history – including a record $1 million-plus last year.
“It’s something to be proud of,” said Camp, named the winner of the Judy Weekley Volunteer of the Year Award in 2014. “When I sell a ticket, I tell them (its purpose), and they can’t believe it.”
The purpose being that the full amount of the $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket goes directly to each charity, while the ticket buyer is entered to win numerous prizes, including a 2015 Ford Mustang and $10,000. Thus, the PCCC is important for Springfield Advocates for Youth, which cares for troubled teens and steers them to become productive citizens.
More on SAY in a minute.
SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES
- HELP SPRINGFIELD ADVOCATES FOR YOUTH: To assist Springfield Advocates for Youth, the best way to help is through the PCCC. Call 417-837-3400.
- 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 such as SAY, simply because they receive revenue directly from those TLC Properties 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 Springfield Advocates for Youth
The charity has been around for about 25 years, with Camp involved during the past 20. Bob Samuels is the chairman.
SAY works with the state Department of Youth Services and its court-appointed teens who are placed in homes in Springfield. From there, the non-profit takes the lead. Its mission is simple: To offer high-risk area youth an opportunity to expand their horizons through educational and recreational programming and to enhance their self-development.
SAY serves about 36 high-risk youth who reside in three state-operated group homes. Depending on the program, the youths remain there from three to six months.
“Our intention is to keep one boy and get him on the right path,” Camp said, although success has stretches well beyond just one individual annually. “Our recidivism rate is the lowest in the nation.”
It’s no wonder Camp works tirelessly to sell PCCC tickets. The non-profit directs the money toward buying educational supplies, or helping teens earn a GED and buying their cap and gown for graduation. Beyond that, Springfield Advocates for Youth buys gas cards for families that live in poverty.
Additionally, the non-profit has helped steer teens toward a program at Ozarks Technical Community College in which the teens can learn valuable skills for the workforce.
All this while Springfield Advocates for Youth operates without a paid staff, meaning that any administrative costs go toward the mission.
Which is why you’ll see Camp always full of energy trying to sell the sweepstakes tickets.
In fact, he is the reigning winner of the Judy Weekley Volunteer of the Year Award, which is presented annually to a volunteer that exceeds all expectations and goes above and beyond what is asked of them. In addition to being SAY’s chief ticket seller, Gary serves as its Marshals Captain.
“The tournament has been a blessing,” Camp said. “It’s taken us from a real small point to a real good situation now. To me, there is no better fundraiser for children.”