Inaugural Golf Outing Fundraiser a Big Success

September 11, 2014 marked the inaugural golf fundraiser in Columbus and proved that supporting Per Scholas is not just about impacting our work and students, but is a whole lot of fun.

The event raised $10,000 to support Per Scholas’ continuing growth in Columbus where more than 130 low-income and unemployed residents have been trained to date for family-sustaining careers in technology, like current featured student of the month Kevin Gamble. Ten teams participated in the scramble with representation from sponsors Nationwide, HMB, Lightwell and Centric Consulting, joined by corporate teams Navigator, ViaQuest, TEKsystems, and LeadingEDJE. The competition proved fierce, with golfers vying to win the scramble and three additional competitions. Congrats to Team Lightwell for winning the Scramble! The list of other challenge winners are:

  • Longest Drive: Mike Pugh, Centric Consulting
  • Closest to the Pin: Thad Leemaster, HMB
  • Longest Putt: Justin Wang, Nationwide

Competition aside, the highlight for the golfers was the attendance by the star guests: current and former students of Per Scholas IT-Ready training. With 40 golfers in attendance, Advisory Council Chair Joe Ours of Centric Consulting shared, “It was a great day of golf, and what an opportunity for our corporate supporters to meet some of the individuals benefiting from their investment in the Per Scholas job training.”

The feeling was mutual among the students. “It’s one thing for people to hear about graduates getting jobs. It’s even better for them to hear it directly. The golfers had lots of questions about Per Scholas, and were very excited to hear that I’d graduated and landed a job,” shared Chris Ferguson, graduate and brand new employee of JPMorgan Chase. “I was laid off in April 2013 and it was hard to get back into the workforce until Per Scholas. The program prepared me not only for the technical side of the job but made me comfortable going into the interview. I feel well prepared to start at JPMorgan Chase on Monday and I’m looking forward to it.”

“The synergy between past and present students and our supporters today was amazing. My heart really felt like it was going to bust because the golfers were here to support us, and we were here to help them enjoy the day. I have never been around an organization that works so hard for me, for my success and for my future. I’m determined and ready to take my career to the next level because of Per Scholas,” said Debra White, a current IT-Ready student volunteering her time at the event.

Andrea Applegate and Plinio Ayala

President and CEO of Per Scholas, Plinio Ayala, was in attendance for the big event alongside Managing Director Andrea Applegate. Both express that the support of our inaugural fundraiser proved the sky’s the limit for progress in Columbus. It promises to be an even bigger event next year.

A big thank you to our advisory council members who played invaluable roles in planning: Joe Ours, Bruce Zion, and our leader in planning, Dave Cherry. Their support out the gate is the reason why we are celebrating this success. Endless thanks again to our sponsors, supporters, and to the Oakhaven Golf Club for hosting the event. We look forward to next year.

See all the pictures from the event here. Donate, volunteer, hire a graduate, get involved and help us continue to change lives through our high-impact work.

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