Klas Telecom, accompanied by members from Cisco, headed south to Huntsville, Alabama last week to participate in the annual Progress Rail Christmas for Kids charity golf tournament benefitting local at-risk children. The tournament took place on June 16 and raised over $200,000. The proceeds will go toward providing Christmas toys, clothing, school supplies and winter jackets to Marshal Country children in need.
Last year, Progress Rail hosted 150 children from three local school systems at the annual Christmas for Kids event. Additionally, another 217 children were sponsored in a guidance counseling program at each local school system. The Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home in Springville, Alabama for abused and neglected youth, also received a large contribution to assist 150 children and their foster families.
“Sponsoring the tournament gave us the opportunity to play a small role in improving kids’ lives,” Klas Telecom President of Global Innovation Ryan Kendrick said. “It was really neat to see large companies like Progress Rail and Caterpillar be so committed to helping local children and their families. Their dedication to corporate responsibility and improving their community was impressive, and I’m glad we got to be a part of it.”
William P. (Billy) Ainsworth, President and CEO of Progress Rail, addressed the crowd at the tournament’s closing ceremony and spoke of his personal ambition to ensure that his company continues to be a driving force for positive change and giving local underprivileged kids bright futures.
Spread out over Robert Trent Jones Hampton Cove’s two golf courses, over 60 teams of four-man scrambles teed off at 7AM to play 18 holes. The tournament lasted about five and a half hours with temperatures rising throughout the day to a high of 96˚. The courses were stocked with plenty of water and volunteers delivered rounds of cold towels to players on the course.
“It was worth the heat to play in this event, even if one of our teams did win the “most honest” award!” Klas Telecom Strategy Development Executive Arnie Allen remarked. “We will definitely be going back next year.”