Below is an article that ran in the Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise to report back on how we spent the $9,500 we raised through this tournament.
Bartlesville, OK, August 14, 2017– Life just got a little bit better for some special needs kids in Bartlesville and Dewey. The PlayForBurk Foundation recently made a $7,500 donation to two local special needs programs, with $2,000 more to be donated to another program in the coming months. All the money donated by the Foundation was raised from PlayForBurk’s First Annual Golf Tournament, which was held in April at Adams Golf Course in Bartlesville. The fundraising event included 24 teams of four golfers each who competed for the lowest score to win prizes. Money was raised through entry fees, sponsorships and raffles to cover expenses, with all the remaining money being donated to special needs programs. “We are really pleased with the success of our golf tournament and that so many participated,” said Clint Hansen, President of the PlayForBurk Foundation. “I think the players had a great time, and they got to contribute to a worthy, local cause.”
The Foundation donated $3,750 to Dewey Elementary’s special needs program. Matt Lair, who served on the Golf Tournament planning committee, has a son with autism who attends school there and knew how much the program needed new supplies and training resources. The Foundation bought the program five new IPads and provided funding for teacher training and more materials for the classroom.
Another $3,750 was donated to Bartlesville High School’s special needs program for a playground area for the students. Cassy Marlar, Special Education Teacher at the High School, had plans for a small playground area outside her classroom, but she did not have the funding for it. “For my students, swinging and going outside where they can exercise and get fresh air within a safe space is an important sensory and coping skill that helps them function better. By building this playground, the PlayForBurk Foundation has made a huge impact for our students that will live on for years to come,” said Marlar.
Finally, the Foundation will donate $2,000 more to the Pathways to Independence program in Bartlesville through sponsoring tables at their annual Dancing with the Stars event. The program provides education and support to children with Autism. With budget cuts to public education in recent years, many programs do not have the funds to invest in new programs or supplies for their students. The PlayForBurk Foundation started to the Annual Golf Tournament as a way to help bridge that gap in resources for children with special needs.
Hansen, who has serves on the Grand Area Special Olympics Board and has a brother with special needs, said, “I have seen first-hand the love and dedication that goes into caring for those with special needs, and we want to help these young people where we can. The Foundation will continue to seek ways to help local youth of all abilities.”
Click here to listen to the radio interview of Clinton Hansen on April 12 regarding the foundation and the golf tournament.
Local golfers have a new opportunity to play for a good cause. Local nonprofit, the PlayForBurk Foundation, is hosting its first annual golf tournament benefiting special needs education on April 21 at Adams Golf Course.
All proceeds will be used to further special education programs in the Bartlesville and Dewey areas – purchasing specific supplies and educational tools needed.
cuts to public education in recent years, many programs do not have the funds to invest in new programs or supplies for their students. This is true for special education programs in local area schools.
“Both Dewey and Bartlesville have wonderful teachers that work with special needs children every day, but unfortunately, their budgets don’t always match their passion for these kids,” said Matt Lair, a parent who lives in Dewey.
Lair would know because he has a child in special education. He and his wife have a five-year-old son named Cason who has autism. He has seen how special education programs are unable to buy many of the supplies they would like to have.
“These are wonderful kids,” said Lair, “and they need good resources and supplies to help them learn to read, communicate, and interact with others. They need communication devices like iPads. The teachers want training programs to help better equip themselves for helping children with autism, and I would love to see them be able to get that.”
Lair has teamed up with the PlayForBurk Foundation hoping to help remedy some of these gaps for local special education. He and several of the PlayForBurk leadership have experience planning golf fundraisers, so it seemed a natural fit to plan a new tournament to benefit those with autism.
Participants in the new autism golf tournament will play in teams of four in a scramble format for the lowest score. Prizes will be awarded based on scores as well as specialty games on the course and through raffles.
“This will be a fun tournament to be a part of – both playing in it and volunteering,” said Randy John, who works with the PlayForBurk Foundation and has also been in charge of the annual Bartlesville Regional United Way Golf fundraiser for the last 13 years. “There will be lots of prizes, food/beverages, music, and good times. It will be great for avid golfers as well as those who are just out to have a good time while giving back to the community. We are building this tournament to last.”
Lair said the Tournament has already secured 22 teams, but there is still room for more for those who would like to enter. The cost to register a team is $400, which includes golfing, carts, lunch, snacks/beverages, and the chance to win prizes.
“I think it will be an event local golfers will not want to miss,” said John.
The tournament has also offered sponsorship and volunteer opportunities for individuals and businesses. A number of sponsorships have already been secured, but more opportunities are still available.
Clint Hansen, president of the PlayForBurk Foundation, said that the event organizers plan to ask special educators in Bartlesville and Dewey what their greatest program needs are and then use the tournament funds to fulfill as many of those needs as possible.
“I would like to see the life of at least one youth positively affected from our efforts,” said Hansen. “I know we will help many more than that, but life is truly about helping individual people. With this event, we hope to impact the lives of many of the local youth with autism and special needs.”
The PlayForBurk Foundation is a Bartlesville nonprofit organization created to carry on the legacy of Hansen’s son Burk after he passed away in 2015 at age 13. The foundation partners with local youth to promote service, faith, personal development and recreational opportunities for the betterment of themselves and their community.