PHOENIX – Summer is the hardest season for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to raise donations and feed families in need across Arizona.
U-Haul International, Inc., which hosts regular volunteer days at St. Mary’s and makes contributions to help the cause, assisted in another way on May 7 by hitting drives and sinking putts at the 14th annual St. Mary’s Golf Classic at Moon Valley Country Club.
“Kids are getting out of school and they aren’t receiving the free lunches served by the school (during the summer),” said St. Mary’s Food Bank director of public relations Jerry Brown, explaining that proceeds from the Golf Classic put food in people’s mouths. “This means that the burden falls on us to provide three meals a day.”
The fundraiser, which is held near the end of spring each year to help the food bank prepare for its summer needs, attracted 140 golfers this year.
U-Haul registered a foursome as part of its community outreach efforts. Bob Dolan, Don Cerimeli, Steve Dudley and Joe Cook spent the day golfing.
“I was asked at the last minute to go golfing,” said Cook, U-Haul Company’s vice president of government relations. “I went because I know that St. Mary’s is a really good charity that U-Haul has been part of for many, many years. And I also enjoy golfing as a hobby.”
In addition to a full day on the course, the tournament included a lunch, raffle and putting contests.
U-Haul didn’t win any awards for longest drive or closest to the pin, but it did win the satisfaction of helping an important cause.
St. Mary’s distributes 40,000 emergency food boxes every month. U-Haul volunteers play a role by putting those food boxes together. U-Haul also donates turkeys as part of its annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution.
“U-Haul is a valued and consistent supporter of the food bank and we appreciate their participation in this year’s golf tournament as well as all of the opportunities they take to help the hungry of Arizona,” Brown said.
One big event at the St. Mary’s Golf Classic was the ball drop. Golf balls, claimed and paid for by members of the public, were stationed above a green and dropped. The owner of the ball that landed closest to the hole won $1,500.
Held in conjunction with the Phoenix Fire Fighters, the ball drop was a way for the public to help St. Mary’s. The balls sold for $25 apiece with all proceeds helping the food bank.
Helping the hungry isn’t fun and games. St. Mary’s has been working to fight hunger for 48 years. As one of its longstanding corporate partners, U-Haul has donated many days and volunteers to the cause.
Do you have stories of volunteering at St. Mary’s or another of U-Haul Company’s charitable partners? Please share them in the comment box below.