LA PLATA, Md.—The Wills Group raised more than $342,000 in support of the Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund at its sixth annual Blackie Wills Golf Classic held at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland.
This year’s golf classic brought together community and business partners to celebrate the Wills Group’s commitment to community engagement. The event also served as an opportunity for the Wills Group to share updates on work that is to come in 2023 with a commitment to carry out projects against its two Community Engagement Signature Programs: Nourishing Children and Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces.
“Six years ago the Wills Group hosted our first Blackie Wills Golf Classic. The event was designed to bring together our community and business partners to learn how we can work collectively to support communities across the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Blackie Wills, president and COO of the Wills Group. “We are grateful for this ongoing partnership that supports the Wills Group’s efforts to build upon our community engagement efforts year over year."
For nearly 100 years, the Wills Group has been committed to serving local communities across the Mid-Atlantic region. Funds raised at the sixth annual Blackie Wills Golf Classic provide nutritional meals to children and their families and create vibrant, welcoming outdoor spaces that bring communities together. Since 2017, the Blackie Wills Golf Classic has raised more than $2 million in support of local and regional organizations.
This year, the Blackie Wills Golf Classic also featured a meal-packing event to support Weekend Backpacks, an organization whose mission is to provide food to the youth of Baltimore City, Maryland. More than 300 bags of food were packed at the event and donated to Weekend Backpacks, with the meal packing effort allowing participants to learn firsthand about the Wills Group’s Nourishing Children and Families Community Engagement Signature Program.
“One in three Marylanders are food insecure,” said Christy Keppel from Weekend Backpacks. “Thanks to the Wills Group and their partners, we were able to create awareness and work together to move one step closer to helping children and their families have access to nutritious meals over the weekend and be ready to learn on Monday. This is essential as students in Baltimore City have access to breakfast and lunch when school is in session, they oftentimes experience hunger over the weekends. And studies show that children from homes that lack consistent access to food are more likely to experience developmental delays and struggle in school.”
The 2022 Blackie Wills Golf Classic also introduced participants to the Wills Group’s commitment to reimagining outdoor spaces. Participants learned how dollars raised from past Blackie Wills Golf Classics were used to support a two-year project to revitalize Phoenix Run Park in La Plata, Maryland. The Wills Group invested more than $130,000 to transform the park, supported by hundreds of volunteer hours across the Phoenix Run Park community and the company’s employees. The park now includes vibrant, art-inspired basketball courts, walking paths, landscaping and seating areas that create a community destination for families.
At the 2022 NACS Show in Las Vegas, October 1-4, an education session will feature speakers discussing the causes they have chosen to support, the impacts they’ve made to their communities and how these partnerships have benefited their businesses. Don’t miss “A Force for Good: We’re in Business to Make an Impact” on Monday, October 3 at 1 a.m. Register for the NACS Show to day.