Charity spotlight: Fellowship of Christian Athletes

FCA's Dan MacLachlan
FCA’s Dan MacLachlan

When he was coaching football or track and field, Dan MacLachlan saw first-hand the way a motivational talk – to coaches as well as players – could lead to transformational influence in the lives of coaches, athletes and sports fans.

Now he leads an organization, the Southern Missouri chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, whose focus is just that.

If challenging situations on or off the field emerge, FCA can meet with coaches one-on-one to develop strategies. Or, to boost the confidence of student-athletes, FCA-organized campus-wide huddles can foster leadership – even from those who are not considered leaders.

Which is why the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to have the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on board again. The tournament, an annual PGA Web.com Tour event, has gifted almost $13 million to children’s charities in the past 26 years, and FCA was one of the first four going back to the early 1990s.

“This tournament allows us to remain fully funded,” said MacLachlan, Area Director of FCA and a former football and track & field coach at Glendale and Strafford high schools. “Sports reveal character in individual athletes, and (FCA) is a great medium to reveal one’s faith and personal identity.”

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes can be found in most Ozarks-area high schools.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes can be found in most Ozarks-area high schools.

FCA opened its Springfield office 29 years ago and was led by Gary Beets until his retirement last year. Janet Sterling joined the MO FCA staff in 1997 as Administrative Assistant/Office Manager. FCA has grown tremendously over the years, to the point that most schools in southwest Missouri have an FCA chapter.

All in all, FCA has stuck to its mission, which reads, “To present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.”

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes actually has its roots only about four hours west of Springfield. The FCA was born more than 60 years ago in the heart of Don McClanen when he was a student at what is now Oklahoma State University.

McClanen envisioned athletes at all levels advancing the cause of Christ through a nationwide team ministry. His dream became reality in 1954 with the chartering of FCA in Norman, Okla., after seven years of contacts with athletes, ministers and businessmen gathering interest and support of this dream.

The FCA hosts a  number of summer camps.
The FCA hosts a number of summer camps.

MacLachlan is carrying on the legacy. The FCA’s efforts are aimed at serving coaches and student-athletes, equipping them in their faith so that they can enjoy success through their seasons, of sport and their seasons of life.

In student-oriented campus huddles, for instance, athletes can discuss the challenges they face. It allows for interaction and ideas from fellow students.

“As a coach, that interaction helps build true confidence,” MacLachlan said.

FCA-stadium2

For coaches, the FCA has been valuable, and not simply with online materials. MacLachlan shared the story of a local high school girls basketball coach who, instead of holding a regular practice, switched gears by having players spend the block of time talking about issues. It led to a season turnaround.

“In the schools, we’re seeing a lot of success,” MacLachlan said. “When they asked their team, ‘What motivates you?’ it was a breakthrough.”

Here’s how to help:

SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES

  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships. Rent skyboxes on the 9th and 18th greens, where your group will have covered seating and more. Or advertise on the course with your banner, ensuring your brand gets a large audience. Or play in any of our 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
    The Ultimate means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.
  • 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 and is on the PGA Tour. (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)
  • FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES SOUTHERN MISSOURI: To assist FCA in any way, call 417-823-7744 or visit its website at www.somofca.org.

 

 

 

Some 28 years later, FCA chapter of southern Missouri still going strong

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes can be found in most Ozarks-area high schools.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes can be found in most Ozarks-area high schools.

Some 28 years ago, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes opened an office in Springfield. At the end of August, longtime Missouri State Director Gary Beets will retire.

What a legacy Beets is leaving behind. FCA has grown tremendously over the years, to the point that most schools in southwest Missouri have an FCA chapter. More so, Second Baptist Church in south Springfield hosts a weekly FCA meeting with student-athletes, some who give their testimony.

That’s just a small sample of FCA’s work, and the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to have FCA on board again this year. The tournament, part of the PGA Tour’s annual Web.com Tour stop in Springfield, has generated $12 million for children’s charities – including a record $1 million-plus last year alone.

All in all, FCA has stuck to its mission, which reads, “To present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be a beneficiary of the PCCC to help fund the ministry for the coming school year,” Beets said. “FCA’s goal is to influence the influencers. PCCC funding allows FCA staff the time to focus on equipping coaches and athletes to make a difference on their campus.”

Here’s how to help FCA:

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 FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES SOUTHERN MISSOURI: To assist FCA in any way, call 417-823-7744 or visit its website at www.somofca.org.
  • 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 FCA, 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 FCA

FCA-logo

The local FCA chapter has been running strong for years, not only with Beets but also with Janet Sterling, who in 1997 joined the MO FCA staff as Administrative Assistant/Office Manager. Dan MacLachlan joined the staff June 1 as Southern Missouri Director and plans to continue the legacy left by Beets.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes actually has its roots only about four hours west of Springfield.

The FCA was born more than 60 ago in the heart of Don McClanen when he was a student at what is now Oklahoma State University.

The FCA hosts a  number of summer camps.
The FCA hosts a number of summer camps.

McClanen envisioned athletes at all levels advancing the cause of Christ through a nationwide team ministry.  His dream became reality in 1954 with the chartering of FCA in Norman, Okla., after seven years of contacts with athletes, ministers and businessmen gathering interest and support of this dream.