The second annual Co-ops Care Charity Golf Tournament, co-hosted by Victory and Wheatland Electric, was held on Friday, Aug. 28, at Mariah Hills Golf Club in Dodge City.
The 18-hole, four-man scramble tournament hosted 31 teams. The event kicked-off with a welcome from Victory Electric CEO Shane Laws and Wheatland Electric CEO Bruce Mueller followed by a short ceremony presented by the Avenue of Flags Color Guard. Throughout the day, had the opportunity to participate in many activities such as a men’s and women’s longest drive contest, longest putt contests, closest to the pin contests and a game called “green on the green,” which participants could play for a chance to double their $5 if their ball made it into a circle painted around the pin.
“Overall the tournament went really well,” said Kyndell Penick, Victory Electric manager of key accounts. “We had a great turnout. A lot of cooperative members and vendors came together to support some great causes.”
Together, Victory Electric and Wheatland Electric were able to raise just over $16,000 to split between two area charities, the Dodge City Veteran’s Council Avenue of Flags and Wheatland Electric’s Cram the Van. Each organization’s focus is on giving back and making a difference in their communities so we all have a better place to live, work and play.
"Giving back to the community is what cooperatives do," said Jerri Whitley, Victory Electric vice president of communications. "We couldn’t be happier to be a part of building and supporting strong and healthy communities."
Avenue of Flags organizes and conducts annual events honoring veterans at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City. In addition, the organization maintains the flagpoles at the cemetery, each of which is dedicated in memory of a veteran. Avenue of Flags is raising funds to purchase and install additional flagpoles and flags for a newly planned cemetery road, to be named Bob Hughes Boulevard. The road, which recognizes Hughes' many years of volunteer service to the organization, will require many additional flagpoles and flags to grace the boulevard. Bob Hughes was also a retired Victory Electric lineman. During his time at Victory Electric and after his retirement in 2009, Hughes served as the chairman of Avenue of Flags.
Wheatland Electric’s Cram the Van food drive program started six years ago in response to an appeal from cooperative members who wished to have a method to help other members within their own communities. The big, red “Cram the Van” van travels each fall to several communities across western and central Kansas including Holcomb, Tribune, Great Bend, Scott City, Caldwell and Conway Springs collecting donations and non-perishable food items. Since the program began, just under 100,000 pounds of food has been donated to local food banks in the city/county in which it was donated.
“We really owe a lot to all of our sponsors. With their generous support, we were able to host an excellent tournament and give back to our community.” Penick said.