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September 18, 2006 - "Driving for Diplomas" at Goodwill's Golf Classic

What: Goodwill Golf Classic Presented by Big O Tires

Where: Green Gables Country Club, Lakewood

When: September 18, 2006

Time: 10:00 AM Check-in, 12:00PM Shotgun Start

Beneficiary: Goodwill Industries of Denver--School to Work Program

EMCEE: Susie Wargin, 9NEWS Morning Sports Anchor

Presenting Sponsor(s): Big O Tires

Committee Members: Martin Pocs-Chair, Erik Akerson, Greg Ball, George Bogdewiecz, Rick Dutkiewicz, Tom Feldkamp, Brent Grube, David Peterson and Van Young

Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Big O Tires Titanium Sponsor: Great-West Healthcare Gold Sponsors: Einstein Brothers Bagels, EON Office, Marsh, Ankmar,, and Waste Management Bronze Sponsors: Wells Fargo and Merrill Corporation Silver Sponsors: Watson Wyatt, Green Manning & Bunch, Grant Thornton, Bradbury Properties, Inc., Circa 65, Orica, and Balistreri Vineyards Hole Sponsors: A-1 Custom Trophies, Accenture, Aller Lingle Architects, AXA Advisors, Career Lab, Chase, CH2MHill, CoBank, Colorado Business Bank, DHR Executive Search, Defined Marketing, Express Personnel, Fast Signs of Arvada, Friendly Company, G&K Services, Grand & Benedicts, Hercules Industries, Holme Roberts & Owen, Integrated People Solutions, Mark It Plus, Meese Corp., Messner & Reeves, Mutual of America, Noodles & Company, Office Team, RCG, Sand Construction, StarQuest Learning, Tig Krekel, United Mechanic Systems, and Wisdom Net. Hole-in-One contests were sponsored by Williams Jewelers for Rolex watches for the entire foursome, Littleton Infiniti with and Infiniti Automobile and Colorado Golf & Turf offering a Club Car golf cart. Hole-in-One contests were sponsored by Williams Jewelers for Rolex watches for the entire foursome, Littleton Infiniti with an Infinity Automobile, and Colorado Golf & Turn offering a Club Car Golf Cart to any hole-in-ones

Board of Directors: Tim Welker, President and CEO; Nelson Alston, Tom Athenour, George Bogdewiecz, Renee Choitz, Susan Curtis, Mary Davis, Board Chair, Brent Drever, Richard Dutkiewicz, Bill Elsner,Secretary, Tom Feldkamp, C. Dale Flowers, Sam Freeman, Vice Chair Harold Klausner, Vice Chair,Tamela Lee, David Leonard, David Majcen, Scott Maierhofer, Todd Munson, David Peterson, Jason Romero, W. Dean Salter, Bill Schmidt, Van Schoales, Greg Sherrill, John Shunk, Treasurer, Erin Smyth, Gully Stanford, Steven Swain, Angela M. Timm, Dorothy Walker and Clifford Young, PhD.

Blacktie Photos by: Chelsea Wyatt

 Becky Mallory, Mashenka Lundberg, Kelly Matthews and Marla Wilaims represented the only all-woman's team
Becky Mallory, Mashenka Lundberg, Kelly Matthews and Marla Wilaims represented the only all-woman's team

by Chelsea Wyatt

Few organizations do more to keep kids in school, and few organizations work in a place where they can make as great an impact as Goodwill. Their nationally recognized School To Work program is benefiting more than 13,000 at-risk youth in 22 metro area schools!

Through the School-to-Work program, Goodwill has created one of the most innovative programs in the state to help at-risk high school students achieve the goal of graduation. On average, a third of high school students never make it to graduation day. Goodwill's program, meanwhile, has a graduation rate of 93 percent for seniors participating in the program.

Goodwill is helping to keep at-risk kids in school until graduation, but this is only half the battle. They actually also encourage kids to focus on their futures. Goodwill sets up mentor programs, and has more than 50 local employers providing internships to the students. This is a great way for a student to explore their opportunities, when they may have thought they had few before Goodwill intervened. Goodwill knows that Colorado's youth may represent only 20 percent of our population, but they represent 100 percent of our future.

This program has grown incredibly in the past few years. Now Goodwill is seeking additional support from the community. The Goodwill Golf Classic goes a long way toward ensuring that Goodwill's School to Work program can support many more students each year.

This year's theme for the Golf Classic was "Driving for Diplomas," and on Monday, September 18th, 144 players took part in doing just that. For the first time, support for the Goodwill Golf Classic has to the point that the tournament was completely sold out far before the event.

For those lucky 144 players, it was a morning to be in high spirits. All the golfers were welcomed by perfect weather, the rolling white-picket fences of the private Green Gables Country Club, and smiling faces of Goodwill's staff, volunteers and program participants as they readied them for the day.

The excitement was contagious right from the beginning, as all of the guests, and some very convincing employees and board members, succeeded in raising over $5,000 for Goodwill's programs in 'Mulligans' and 'Throws' alone! It must have been because they wanted a few extra shots at winning the Littleton Infiniti Hole-in-One automobile, the Club Car Golf Cart donated by Colorado Golf & Turf, or a much coveted prize at any tournament, the Williams Jewelers Rolex watches for the entire foursome.

The fun didn't stop there, however, and there was a a good time to be had by everyone. Smiling Einstein Brothers Bagels employees served a delectable array of lunches to each golfer, as well as their new frozen latte or frozen strawberry smoothie drinks. This cooled off all the golfers before they went to warm up on Green Gables' driving range.

After a hard-played game of golf, all of the attendees stepped into the lavish Green Gables' clubhouse for a reception, awards presentation, and silent auctions. Silent auction items included everything for any type of lifestyle. From sitting in one of EON's leather office chairs to soaring above Boulder in a glider, from a private golf getaway in Scottsdale, Arizona, to a special behind the scenes tour at 9News or brunch at Mayor Hickenlooper's residence, there was truly an experience or merchadise for everyone. Even if a golfer got outbid on the item they were eyeing, each of them got to take home a bottle of Balistreri wine, just as a thank-you for their great contribution to a great organization.

Goodwill handles so many aspects of supporting metro-area schools and their students. Not only do they support students staying in school until graduation, but, as Mario Williams, Principal of George Washington High School, says, "Goodwill contributes by providing us with great classroom facilitators for the school as well."

It is obvious what a great contribution these dynamic people make to the community every day. To be a part of the efforts by getting more information about Goodwill's Youth Services programs, or to ask about sponsoring or playing in their tournament next year, please call 303-650-7700.

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