Hundreds of H-E-B partners and suppliers showcase the tremendous power of volunteerism during 30th Annual Tournament of Champions

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June 11, 2015
H-E-B partnered with over 1,500 suppliers, partners and vendors for the 30th Annual H-E-B Tournament of Champions, with a goal of raising $8 million to help the children of Texas and to support education. The three-day event took place from June 3rd – June 5th.

Each year, the Tournament of Champions opens with a Golf Tournament, followed by the Charity Work Project, which has become the heart and soul of the Tournament of Champions over the years, and closes with a sponsor appreciation dinner.

This year’s dinner was especially emotional with a celebrity guest appearance by Gary Sinise who presented in tandem with H-E-B a smart house to a bilateral amputee who served in the Marines for 15 years, as well as two mortgage-free homes to wounded warriors selected by Operation Finally Home, and $60,000 in scholarships for their childrenThe 30th anniversary of the H-E-B Tournament of Champions Charity Work Project consisted of 1,100 volunteers dedicating their time to four different service projects at Boysville Inc., San Antonio Food Bank, the San Antonio Sports SPARK at Wheatley Middle School, and Operation Finally Home. Its inception began when Decker Food Company asked H-E-B to invite their market vendors to a golf tournament, with proceeds benefitting Special Olympics Texas.

Selected non-profits are often chosen as partner organizations for the Charity Work Project because of their dedication and commitment to programming that focuses on children, youth and education throughout the State of Texas.

For the past three years, H-E-B has worked with Operation Finally Home and various building companies to provide mortgage-free homes 
for wounded veterans, which volunteers help to landscape and decorate. This year’s recipients were Army Spc. Haywood Range, Sgt. Randy Robinson and their families, who each received a two-story, 2,458-square foot home valued at $225,000 each. The Final Home Reveal was held on Friday, June 5th when the Range and Robinson families finally saw their new homes for the very first time, located in Champions Park, with hundreds of volunteers there to welcome them.

Volunteer responsibilities included a variety of hands-on projects such as landscaping and the construction of a playground, track, and soccer field at the Wheatley Middle School Park, or SPARK, an initiative of the non-profit, San Antonio Sports, which works with the City of San Antonio to identify inner city areas considered to be “park deserts”. Once completed, the SPARK Project at Wheatley Middle School will be a place for fun and creativity, giving residents of all ages a convenient, safe place to play and to exercise. The space will also allow SA Sports to offer more after-school activities and leagues. At Boysville, volunteers headed out to the 78-acre campus in Converse – which houses 32 children in their Residential Program – to paint, landscape, build needed items and work on an arts project. Boysville, which has been operating in the San Antonio area since 1943, aims to provide a safe, family environment for children who either cannot remain safely in their homes or do not have a place to call home.
Those who volunteered with the San Antonio Food Bank, a long-time partner organization of H-E-B, not only distributed food to more than 700 families, but also participated in garden work, dry sorting and assembling of kits for the elderly as part of the San Antonio Food Bank’s Healthy Options Program for the Elderly (HOPE), and even packed over 1,000 backpacks for kids as part of their summer food program.

Originally established in 1986, the annual event has significantly grown from raising $38,500 during its first year. Over the past 30 years, Tournament of Champions has raised over $80 million, inspiring the successive events that have benefited more than 600 worthwhile Texas non-profit organizations.
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Anastacia Valdespino, H-E-B Public Affairs