ORANGE PARK – Not every surprise ends with a roomful of hugs, but that was the case at a local nonprofit on Tuesday in Orange Park.
THE PLAYERS volunteer arm known as the Red Coats, visited Building Abilities of Special Children & Adults Inc. on Sept. 18 and surprised them with a check for $20,000. They also presented everyone there with brand new backpacks and hats for THE PLAYERS as gifts.
“It’s just so heartwarming,” said Beth Clark, CEO of BASCA “For them to take their time during the day to come out and visit us is huge.”
Clark said that the money will go towards buying new gas tanks for generators that are at the group homes used by the organization.
BASACA is an organization that provides services, such as housing, jobs and social experiences, to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The main focus of the organization is to try and help the individuals feel like citizens of the community.
“The folks we work with are a part of the community and they can’t always get out everywhere,” said Clark.
Clark said that the state provides them with generators for the group homes but they needed to buy new gas tanks that they were not able to afford. She said that she reached out to THE PLAYERS and they provided in a big way.
The Red Coats have been a big help to BASCA for several years now, having donated $58,000 to the organization since 2011.
“It’s really amazing to give back the dollars that 2,000 volunteers put their time in to,” said Adam Campbell, 2019 Tournament chairman for THE PLAYERS Championship. “It’s so exciting to see the joy that comes to being able to support these organizations that need these dollars.”
“Giving back to this community is the main reason we volunteer every year,” said Jack Garnett, captain of THE PLAYERS Championship Past Chairmen and 2002 tournament chairman, in a press release.
This was a part of the Red Coats tradition, Red Coat Ride Out, as they give back to the community, included giving $5,000 to Special Olympics Florida as well as much needed golf equipment. The organization also has plans later this month to visit UF Proton Therapy Institute and the DePaul School in Jacksonville.
Every year, money generated by THE PLAYERS is donated to several organizations throughout Northeast Florida. It has generated over $100 million since 1977 and raised over $9 million in 2018.
If you would like to volunteer at THE PLAYERS, the application will open Nov. 5 and you can apply at THEPLAYERSvolunteers.com.