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September 17, 2007 - Goodwill Golf Classic - Driving for Diplomas

What: A passion for golf. A passion for kids.

Where: Green Gables Country Club, Lakewood, Colorado

When: Monday, September 17, 2007

Time: 10:00 a.m., registration, noon, shogun start, 5:30 p.m. 19th hole reception, 6:15 p.m., live auction

Ticket Prices: Tickets starting at $250 per person.

Beneficiary: Goodwill’s nationally recognized School To Work program benefiting more than 15,000 at-risk youth in 29 metro-area schools

Host(s): Goodwill Industries, Denver

Gala Chairperson(s): Martin Pocs, Vice Chairman DHR Executive Search

Founders: Rev. Edgar J. Helms in 1902

Committee Members: Martin Pocs (Golf Committee Chair), Eric Akerson, Greg Ball, George Bogdewiecz, Brent Drever, Rick Dutkiewicz, Tom Feldkamp, Brent Grube, Scott Maierhofer, Carrie Mesch, Van Young

President(s): Tim Welker, President/CEO

Introductions: Kevin Jones, Alison Oyler

Catering: Lunch: Einstein Bros. Bagels, Dinner: Green Gables Country Club

Sponsors: Big O Tires, Great-West Healthcare, Wells Fargo Bank, Wells Fargo Foothill, CareerBuilder.COM, Einstein Brothers Bagels, EON Office, Waste Management, Marsh, Grant Thornton, Sun Orchard, Coors, Merrill Corporation, Lockton, Martin Pocs/DHR International, Orica, Clear Technology, Ball Corporation, Nantucket Nectars, Mutual of America, Bradbury Products, Watson Wyatt, Vectra Bank, Green Manning & Bunch, Holme Roberts & Owen, Williams Jewlers, Mercedes-Benz of Westminster

Auctioneer: Career Builders' Brent Grube

Attendance: 250

Attire: Golf Attire

Event Coordinator: Kevin Jones and Alison Oyler

Board of Directors: Nelson G. Alston, Tom Athenour, George Bogdewiecz, Vice Chair, Mary Davis, Immediate Past Chair, Brent Drever, Rick Dutkiewicz, Bill Elsner, Secretary, Dale Flowers, Sam Freeman, Harold Klausner, Chair, Tamela Lee, David Leonard, Doug Linkhart, Scott Maierhofer, David Majcen, Carrie Mesch, James Meurer, Todd Munson, Jason Romero, Dean Salter, Bill Schmidt, Van Schoales, Greg Sherrill, John Shunk, Erin Smyth, Gully Stanford, Steven Swain, Treasurer, Dorothy Walker, Clifford Young

Blacktie Photos by: Howie Grapek

 The winner is... left to right (showing off their Goodwill jackets): Doug Stefanson, Mark Neely, John Gabbert and Reed Smith
The winner is... left to right (showing off their Goodwill jackets): Doug Stefanson, Mark Neely, John Gabbert and Reed Smith

By Howie Grapek

One thing we all share in common is a passion for kids and a passion for golf! This year’s Goodwill Golf Classic, presented by Big O Tires, brought together these two passions in one fun-filled day of golf. The tournament theme, "Driving for Diplomas," tells the story. Goodwill is helping to keep at-risk kids in school until they graduate and helps them focus on their futures. "With one-third of our youth dropping out each year, I can’t think of a more important and timely purpose," said Martin Pocs, Golf Committee Chair.

Held at the beautiful Green Gables Country Club on September 17, 2007, the 5th annual Goodwill Golf Classic raised $140,000. Proceeds from the event will support Goodwill’s nationally recognized School To Work program, benefiting more than 15,000 at-risk youth in 29 metro-area schools each year.

School To Work helps students understand the relevance of their classroom education. Whether students decide to pursue post-secondary education or enter the workforce, they must start with a firm basis of a high school diploma. School To Work provides a consistent, weekly opportunity for students to gain valuable life skills that will serve them at school, in their communities, and in the workplace. All Goodwill, facilitators are Colorado-licensed teachers who work to supplement the existing school curriculum.

Goodwill’s School To Work program also relies upon relationships for the success of program participants. For some students, the relationship with their Goodwill mentor may be the most positive and consistent adult relationship in their lives. For others, School To Work provides access to professionals and career information that might otherwise be unavailable or inaccessible. This combination of relevance and relationships show powerful results for program participants: We know that our School To Work program helps change lives.

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. Goodwill also encourages kids to focus on their futures. Goodwill sets up mentor programs, and has more than 50 local employers providing internships to students. This is a great way for a student to explore their opportunities, when they may have thought they had few before.

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 significantly 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.

For more information about Goodwill Denver and the School To Work Program, log on to

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