By: Aarika Copeland | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2023
The Rogers County Training Center (RCTC), a subsidiary of Home of Hope, is gearing up for its 37th Annual Golf Classic fundraiser, a family-friendly event that promises to be a fun-filled day of games, prizes, food, a super prize for the lucky golfer with the skill to make a hole in one, and a ‘19th Hole’ silent auction on May 5, 2023. Attendees can also look forward to the chance to meet and listen to Sports Animal’s Live Broadcast during the event.
“Golfers have the chance to interact with Home of Hope’s clients and learn the impact their donations and sponsorships make in our clients’ lives,” said Home of Hope CEO, Ralph Richardson, Ph.D.
The tournament comprises a 4-man scramble format and is open to players of all levels of experience. Early sign-ups have the advantage of selecting their preferred tee times. Sponsorships are available to local businesses and individuals who seek a major role in the fundraiser's success, the benefits of each tier increasing in value as the level of support increases.
“We have great relationships with all of our sponsors,” Richardson said. “BancFirst, since day one, has been centrally involved with the fundraiser. They volunteer each year, are involved in the planning, and help us recruit sponsors.”
But beyond the fun and games, the Golf Classic serves a greater purpose - to raise funds to support RCTC’s vocational programs, enabling the center to continue making a positive impact in the lives of those they serve.
RCTC, founded in 1963 by a group of friends and family who wanted their children with special needs to work as independently as possible, has a long history of serving northeast Oklahoma, including Rogers County, Craig County, Delaware County, Ottawa County, and Mayes County. Working alongside 200 men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities, RCTC provides real work opportunities many of these individuals previously thought unobtainable.
“I enjoy working with my hands,” one client said on working at the Claremore’s recycling depot for the past 8 years. “We enjoy it out here and we all get along.”
RCTC staff members and clients operate an on-site recycling shipping business and a workshop program with a focus on performing document shredding and light industrial assembly, besides staffing the Metropolitan Environmental Trust (MET) location in Claremore on Ramm Road. You can find RCTC's resale shops in both Pryor and Claremore, Centsible Spending, operating on donated goods while providing needed employment. Donations are a great way to support their initiative and are accepted at both resale facilities and are accepted at both resale facilities and the distribution center located in Vinita.
“People with intellectual disabilities often grow up with a central message given to them throughout their young lives, by either society or their own families, that employment is probably out of reach for them,” Richardson said. “We serve people at every level of functionality. Sometimes these people just need someone to be there to help them make good decisions, which is where our job coaches come in. They are there to provide direction when necessary.” Richardson added, “If I ever need a boost, I show up on payday when the clients get their checks. There’s music, there’s dancing. It’s a party–a moment many of these individuals were told their whole lives they’d never have.”
The success of the annual Golf Classic fundraiser is a testament to the support and dedication of the community. The pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable populations, including individuals with intellectual disabilities, and at its height, it halted many of the functions of the center because of safety reasons. But sponsors and donors can help ease the continued financial impact RCTC faces and contribute meaningfully to a worthy cause, while also enjoying a day of fun and camaraderie, by coming out to this year’s fundraiser.
“We want to invite anybody who wants to be a part of it,” Richardson said. “We of course have those who come out to play golf and have fun but we also have individuals who are genuinely engaged with the purpose itself.”
To register your team or for sponsorship information contact Amy Littleton at 918.283.8953 or by email eat0@eau0eav0eaw0
Since HoH is ‘always hiring’, you can visit their website homeofhope.com or call 918.262.4400 to ask about or apply for employment at RCTC.
Home of Hope is always seeking businesses to partner with to help provide jobs for those under their employ. Employers in the community who are interested in hiring people with disabilities through Home of Hope can contact Rick Davis, Home of Hope’s Vocational Director, at 918.810.6757.
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