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September 2014 Check Presentation

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sept. 2014 DBOT check pres photo

When a powerful dream hungers to become reality, it’s essential to nourish that aspiration by aiming for the stars. And when we are lucky, those stars are perfectly aligned to create a fulfillment of that dream that is magically on target.

That perfect alignment of vision, hard work and dedication is epitomized by two individuals whose collective efforts have brought an exciting fundraising event to the Polk State College Foundation: Clays for Courts, Kicks and Curveballs.

Three years ago, the Foundation’s popular annual sporting clays event burst onto the scene with an explosive success, thanks to those two individuals, John R. Alexander and Steve Hendrix, who are taking aim to help Polk State College student athletes achieve their dreams of a higher education.

The event took root when Alexander, a previous Polk State College Foundation Board Member who continues to be a generous donor and Polk State advocate, uncovered a previously untapped source at Polk State for fundraising: the thriving popularity of sporting clays in our community.

“This is a fundraising deal that’s fun,” Alexander said. “People who like to shoot say I don’t mind doing that and having a good time. So we’ve been able to reach out to people who didn’t know or didn’t recognize the need for scholarships at Polk State, and there’s even a ripple effect from there,” he said.

Simultaneously, John R. brought on board Steve Hendrix of Bartow Ford, another shooting clays enthusiast with whom he often shares the sport. He introduced Steve to the Polk State College Foundation Team, and Steve has provided outstanding volunteer work since the event’s inception.

Because of John R.’s vision, Steve’s hard work, and the generosity of numerous donors, Clays for Courts, Kicks and Curveballs has generated approximately $30,000 to benefit Polk State student athletes.

Besides the fun of the sport, participants receive the joy of meeting students at the event whose lives have been transformed by the funds the event provides.

“It’s a really nice aspect of the event. Students tell us about where they came from, and how they would not otherwise have had a chance to go to college, and this has provided them the opportunity they never would have had. And they’re always very gracious and very enjoyable to talk to,” said Steve.

“It touches everybody. It really makes you feel great, that you can help somebody in that way,” said John R.

John R. and Steve were honored on September 22, 2014, at a check presentation ceremony at the Polk State College Board of Trustees meeting.

Melinda Harrison, Treasurer of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, introduced Alexander and Hendrix at the meeting and expressed the deeply held gratitude of the District Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board, and the students who ultimately benefit from Clays for Courts, Kicks & Curveballs.

“We’re thankful that we have the ability and the time to do it. That’s a real blessing – it’s a great chance to give back to the community and help some folks you don’t even know,” said Steve.

Pictured left to right: Mark G. Turner, Teresa Martinez, Dr. Eileen Holden, John R. Alexander, Steve Hendrix, Dan Dorrell, Linda Pilkington and Greg Littleton.