By: Tom Fink | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2019
Home of Hope’s annual Rogers County Training Center Golf Classic & 19th Hole Silent Auction is scheduled for May 3 at Heritage Hills Golf Course in Claremore. The tournament benefits adults with developmental and intellectual challenges at the training center in Claremore.
For more than 30 years, the community of Claremore has helped raise funds for Home of Hope and its subsidiary the Rogers County Training Center by way of a benefit golf tournament.
This spring will see the return of this tournament when Home of Hope hosts the 34th annual Rogers County Training Center Golf Classic & ‘19th Hole Silent Auction.’
However, to fully appreciate the importance and the impact of the golf tournament, one must first understand those it benefits.
“Home of Hope serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” explained Ralph Richardson, CEO, Home of Hope. “What’s interesting, I think, about where we are – as a nation – with regards to disabilities in general is how ‘hidden’ it still is in this day in age. One in five people have some form of a disability, but most people don’t realize how pervasive that is – how much that’s a part of who we all are. Acknowledging it, in a way, means being aware of our own vulnerabilities, a host of things that may be hard to come to terms with.
Ralph Richardson, CEO, Home of Hope.
“People with intellectual disabilities are often more isolated, and to some degree, more set aside by our society,” he continued. “Home of Hope is about giving people the opportunity
to pursue the lives that the rest of us take for granted. It’s about people having a home they can be proud of that they can take their friends to. It’s about having a job and earning a paycheck when they may have been told their whole life that they’d never have a job. It’s about taking pride in the work they do and experiencing that sense of accomplishment. It’s about doing activities with their peers who ‘get’ them and who they enjoy being around. It’s about doing all the things that all of us do in life, creating a path to make that happen, and then getting out of the way – that’s what Home of Hope is all about, and the training center in Rogers County is about the vocational aspect of that.”
Founded in 1963, the Rogers County Training Center in Claremore offers those vocational opportunities for adults of all ages with intellectual or developmental disabilities, while also providing area businesses with labor, either on an intermittent or permanent basis.
RCTC staff and clients operate a recycling program on-site at the RCTC property, as well as staffing the City of Claremore recycle depot on Ramm Road in Claremore.
Additionally, RCTC operates two resale shops, Centsible Spending, one in Claremore, the other in Pryor. These shops provide employment for 11 persons with disabilities, as well as job coaches, and operate on donated goods, such as household items, books, clothing and more. Donations are taken at both locations and are tax deductible.
Much of this would not be possible without the funding raised through the annual golf tournament.
“The opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities to have a job, to have a sense of meaning and a sense of purpose each day, to earn a paycheck – that kind of ‘magic’ happens at the training center every single day,” he said, “and the golf tournament makes every single bit of that happen.”
The tournament itself is a four-man scramble format with designated tee times and flights. Home-cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, golf games and the chance to win a prize for the golfer who makes a hole-in-one are only part of the fun of the day.
In addition to the golfing, the ‘19th Hole’ Silent Auction will be taking place during this time at the clubhouse, where interesting, fun, unusual, and elegant items will be showcased. Friendly bidding will be in full swing at the tournament itself, but golfers may get an early preview and start the bidding on the auction items in the Heritage Hills clubhouse one week before the event, and the auction will end at the close of the tournament.
Additionally, for the first time in 34 years, the tournament will be covered by a local radio station, KYAL-FM the Sports Animal, in a live broadcast.
The tournament is made possible in large part by BancFirst, who through volunteers, coordination, planning, and active participation have been a “huge part” of the tournament’s success for years, Richardson said.
Although there is not a limit to the number of golfers or teams allowed, tee times can fill up, so early sign-up is recommended.
“It’s a great day for everyone,” Richardson said. “You get to come out, have a great time golfing with your friends, maybe bid on something, and in doing so, you impact someone’s life – I don’t know how much cooler it can get than that,” he said.
For tickets to the 34th Annual Rogers County Training Center Golf Classic & ‘19th Hole’ Silent Auction contact Amy Littleton at 918-283-8953 or eat1@eau1eav1eaw1
For more information about the Rogers County Training Center, contact Greg Crawford at 918-944-0415, visit them at 2112 E.L. Anderson Road in Claremore, or online at www.homeofhope.com.
Rogers County Training Center employees such as Michael benefit from a variety of programs they help operate through the Claremore-based facility.
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