Local charities teamed up to support kids during the 5th annual Irving Kids Charity Golf Classic Kickoff Party, hosted at the Cool River Club in Irving on Thursday, June 8, 2017.
Originated by David Pfaff and Andy Nadel, the event is a collaboration between five different Irving charities: Irving YMCA, Irving School Foundation, Irving Healthcare Foundation, Irving-Las Colinas Rotary Club, and the La Buena Vida Foundation. Attendees raised funds for these charities by participating in silent and live auctions throughout the evening. The proceeds from the event and the golf event will be divided equally between all five organizations. Last year, the event raised over $200,000 and this year the goal is $250,000.
Crystal Scanio, executive director of the Irving Schools Foundation, feels this event is unique because the charities are working towards one common goal instead of competing against one another.
“Usually charities compete for money,” Scanio said. “Asking five charities to work together to raise money for one great cause was very different. But it’s completely worked out, and it’s a great partnership between these different charities to raise money for one great product, which is our children.”
For some organizations, the Charity Classic is their biggest fundraiser of the year. John Munoz, executive director of the Irving YMCA, explained that his charity’s portion of the funds will be used to ensure everyone can participate in YMCA programs.
“The money we raise from this event goes to help us provide scholarships and financial aid to individuals,” Munoz said. “That way, they can take part in the YMCA programs, whether they are kids getting free swim lessons, or cancer survivors coming to the Y for a free 12-week program so that they can find their new self, or members who need help because times are tough for them. We provide scholarships so they can all be part of the Y and the community.”
Joy Goodrum, executive director of the La Buena Vida Foundation, hopes the funds will go a long way toward providing new housing for young at-risk women in Irving.
“Irving Schools are telling us that there are female students who have no place to go,” Goodrum said. “As of right now, we don’t have the funds to be able to start a new apartment for them. This [event] could mean the start of a new apartment, which could change the lives of at least four young ladies who are enrolled in our Irving high schools.”
But it is not just one night out of the year that these five charities work together. Many of them collaborate on events year-round. Laura Manning, senior officer of the Irving Healthcare Foundation, said her organization has been working with the Irving Schools Foundation to help fight childhood obesity and this event will be a big help.
“We need the money to help support programs to fight childhood obesity,” Manning said. “Our main focus right now is diabetes. We’re trying to catch people early when they’re young, learn healthy eating habits, learn about fitness, and try to keep that from being a problem later in life.”
John Munoz of the YMCA said collaborating with these other non-profits throughout the year is part of what makes Irving so unique and it is the kids that matter most.
“Irving is really one of the most unique places in that all of the non-profits all year long work together,” he said. “We’re not very territorial. We all know that we’re here to service the kids and the community, and so we all band together to do whatever we can to help each other.”
Crystal Scanio added other cities can learn from Irving about how non-profits co-operate and not just compete.
“I think this could be a really great case study for other cities to see that you can work together, as long as you have a common cause,” Scanio said. “We’re all working for the best that Irving can be.”