In 2007, as a small group of employees was working to get the regional headquarters of Marcellus Shale drilling company Range Resources up and running; the group was also looking at how the company could give back to its new community. A charity golf outing topped the list of ideas, and in 2008, the company held its first outing at the Southpointe Golf Club in Washington County.
Since then, the Range Resources Charity Golf Outing – which for the last several years has also included a Sporting Clays Shoot – has grown into one of the region’s premiere fundraising events. And as the outing has also grown in size and popularity among employees and vendors, the location has moved to venues that can accommodate participants on two golf courses at the same time.
“We hold several fundraisers throughout the year,” says Barbara Murphy, President of the United Way of Washington County. “But ours can’t compare to this. From the first time the Range employees held the golf outing until now, it’s gone from a nice little fundraiser benefitting United Way, to the largest fundraiser raising money for our organization.”
While Range Resources hosts the Golf Outing and Clay Shoot – it’s an event that cannot succeed without the many dedicated and committed service company partners that participate. And over the past several years, Range Resources and its partners have raised over $600,000 for three local charities that benefit via the United Way of Washington County: the Greater Washington County Food Bank, CASA for Kids, and Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
“Going forward, we are aiming for that one million dollar mark, and with help of our generous service partners, I’m confident we’ll get there,” says Range’s Director of Public Affairs, Laural Ziemba, who notes the recipient pool is also being expanded this year. “Some of the funds raised will go to Toys for Tots as well as Washington County agricultural education programs like 4-H and FFA, first responders, and other important local groups.”
The non-profit organizations that receive funds via the Golf Outing and Clay Shoot report the money has played a critical role in their success.
“There was a point in 2014 when I’d been on the job about six months, and things were very difficult,” says Connie Burd, Executive Director of the Greater Washington County Food Bank. “Finances were tough, we were shifting things around to do payroll. And then Range donated over $80,000 dollars. It took us through several months at that point in time, and it was really a turning point. It made the difference between us kind of folding up, closing the doors – and continuing on with what we do. We have been able to turn things around through the generosity of companies like Range Resources.”
Also in Washington County, CASA for Kids trains volunteers to advocate for local children who have been abused or neglected. Executive Director Vivian Osowski makes every dollar count.
“Our budget is very small,” says Osowski. “And Range Resources has been phenomenal. Not only helping us with the program itself – but also sustainability, and growing our program.”
At Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Prevention Education Coordinator Alexandra Brooks explains how the organization utilizes the dollars raised via the Range Resources Golf Outing and Clay Shoot.
“We are grateful for every dollar that comes through the door,” says Brooks. “But when a large amount comes through, that helps us further our mission just that much more. These funds help us provide life-saving services to our community – helping us keep counselors at the hotlines, helping us operate vehicles to go pick up clients, and helping us keep the doors open.”
Planning is already underway for 2018. It’s a big effort, but the employees of Range are committed to keeping it going, year after year.
“I’m so proud of the people who participate in our Golf Outing and Clay Shoot,” says Range’s Appalachia Division Vice President, Dennis Degner. “Both our service company partners and the employees of Range. They come here to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and bigger than Range. They truly demonstrate Range’s philosophy of giving back to the communities where we live and work.”
This article is written and sponsored by Range Resources.