Forging Ahead in the Citizens Charity Classic
Kasey Culbert, AVP/Marketing
We held our 6th Annual Citizens Charity Classic on Monday, July 13th, and I think my feet have finally recovered - ha! Honestly though, it was so nice to just be around people, for a good cause, at a fun event, and escape the chaos and craziness 2020 has presented. I’m thankful!
This event manifested from a simple conversation with FCA, which sparked an idea in Mike Alred's head. He wanted to help FCA and enlisted his bank family to make it happen. And now, because Mike saw a need and acted upon it, since 2015, the Citizens Charity Classic benefiting Northeast Alabama FCA has taken place each spring at Gunter's Landing Golf Club. Well, it's happened in the spring every year until this one - enter COVID-19 which forced us to postpone to July. Even still, we've been able to raise $211,500 to date with the help of some pretty awesome partners in our community. Don’t let the current news cycle fool you, there are many kind, loving, giving people and businesses committed to doing the right thing now and for years to come. Can I get an amen?! May we focus on the good because it’s all around us.
At Citizens, when we're presented with a challenge, we stand ready to embrace it, at the very least, we give it our best go but strive for excellence. I sit on many local non-profit boards and fundraising has taken a hit with many organizations in 2020. Many of them could shock you with how far they can stretch a dollar. But, this is new territory and they need us, y’all! We wanted to continue our charity event, which is lots of fun for us employees too by the way, even if it meant we had to find ways to make it happen in the middle of a pandemic. So forge ahead we did. We shifted, and relocated, and moved meals outside, and wore gloves and masks, and my goodness did we sanitize. All day in the July heat we loaded tables and filled carts, we iced down coolers, and served meals, we coordinated and pointed teams in the direction they needed to go - it's pretty crazy in the lunch-time transition. We worked hard. But... we also laughed... a lot, we smiled until our cheeks hurt, we got away from our desks for a while, we got to thank people for sponsoring and playing, we got to thank FCA and their awesome crew for the work they do in our schools, we hung out with new friends and caught up with old ones, we got to escape for a bit and be rejuvenated. Again, I’m thankful!
We didn’t know what to expect when we postponed our event to the summer. Would the pandemic shut us down completely? Would people want to play? Are businesses taking too big a hit to be able to support the tournament financially? And my personal nightmare, can we make this happen and keep everyone safe and not create a PR issue for our Bank? Personally, I thought it would be one extreme or the other: People would be too nervous to attend or to support not knowing what the economy would hold the rest of the year; or, people would be lined up to play because let’s face it, we miss normalcy and our community, and our loyal sponsors are dedicated to the mission of FCA as much as we are. Thankfully, the latter was true and we raised $36,500 for Northeast Alabama FCA this year. Amazing. AMAZING! Again, thankful I get to live in this community and work alongside so many great people.
One of our Core Values is We Do the Right Thing: Operate with Integrity and Build Trust. Boy does that ring true. The right thing to do was to improvise, to be cautious and find a way to make it happen; to give back. Again I am thankful. Thankful that God is sovereign and He made a way. Thank you to all who support our event each year. We couldn’t do it without you.
Hang in there. Do the right thing for someone else today and be a light.