Golfing for United Way: Range Is On the Green

Jun 25, 2015

It started as an idea, a simple, “hey, why don’t we…?”  Seven years later, it has turned into one of southwestern Pennsylvania’s premiere fundraising events. And in the fall of 2014 – the Range Resources Golf Outing was featured in Corporate and Incentive Travel magazine, with editors recognizing the event for its “face time” component -- valuable interactions between Range employees and the vendors who attend every year. 

Initially, the golf outing was held at Southpointe – a location that made sense in terms of proximity and ease of planning. But after two years, as the outing continued to grow, a decision was made to move it to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Today, it is the largest annual golf outing hosted at Nemacolin (in terms of numbers of golfers.) Range's Executive Assistant Merilee Domanick has been involved in the planning process since the beginning. “Ray (Walker) wanted to have a golf outing, and I volunteered to help put it together.”

Merilee was also part of the group that decided the golf outing could be more than an opportunity for employees and vendors to deepen professional and personal relationships. It could also be used as a vehicle to raise money for charity. And the results have been outstanding.

Recently, on behalf of Range Resources, Merilee accepted the Chairman’s Award which was presented to the top 5 United Way company campaigns. Range Resources was the number one campaign, raising $169,521 for United Way of Washington County. 

Approximately $130,000 came from the golf outing – the rest from Range’s independent efforts to raise money for United Way. It’s a huge number that has grown over the years in tandem with the golf outing.

“We raised $12,000 the first year, for the food bank,” says Merilee. “The second year – closer to $15,000. And that third year, after we made the move to Nemacolin, we made somewhere in the upper 30-thousands.”

Initially – monies from the golf outing were donated directly to the charities.  But as the event evolved, a decision was made to donate the money through United Way – with a request that funds then go to charities that Range chooses to support: the Greater Washington County Food Bank, CASA for Kids, Inc. of Washington County, Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and this year – funds were also allocated to Washington Health System Children’s Therapy Center. And though the United Way now acts as the umbrella organization – Range is still able to present checks (big checks!) to each charity. 

An event the size of Range’s golf outing requires a great deal of preparation.  But Merilee characterizes it as work that is followed by great reward. “People are so grateful. When you give them those checks, it makes you feel so good.”   

Later, awards and prizes are handed out at a celebratory dinner, and participants also watch a slide show – photographs of memorable moments from the day they just wrapped up. The slide show is later gifted to each participant on flash drives. 

For the last few years, the golf outing has also included a clay shoot. Both events regularly sell out – and are sold out for 2015 as well. According to Merilee, “It requires somewhere between 5 – 6 months of planning and work ahead of time.  But it’s worth it. And we have fun! There’s a very dedicated group of Range employees who volunteer their time before and during the golf outing.  Some of us go up the night before – and we’re up by 6 a.m. the next morning.” Throughout the day, Range volunteers make sure the clay shoot and the golf outing go smoothly.  

Merilee says it’s possible Range might not raise the same amount of money this year, for valid reasons. “Because of what’s happening with the industry right now, we offered lower cost sponsorships to our vendors. We’ve asked them to work with us on their prices; it only seemed right to recognize what they’ve done for us and lower the cost of the golf outing as well. And pretty much everyone is coming back -- we’re sold out – for the golf outing and the clay shoot!” 

This year’s outing will take place in August at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.  With the continued dedication and hard work of the Range employees who pull it together – it is sure to once again be a great time for all involved – and an effort that will ultimately change lives for the better in Washington County: helping the Food Bank provide assistance to families in need, helping CASA to be a voice for abused and neglected children, and ensuring that Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA can continue to provide shelter and hope for women and families who need help. 

For Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Matt Pitzarella, it’s reflective of the way things are done at Range. “I’ve never worked at an organization where employees work so hard to give back to the community. From the golf outing to the holidays to regular charitable drives in the offices on almost a weekly basis, our employees are always finding ways to support worthy organizations. The golf outing is the best example of employees caring so deeply about making a positive impact on the lives of people they may never meet. They’re not doing it for recognition, they’re doing it because it’s the right thing and the company supports that platform. We know that our industry is making a positive impact through job creation, royalty payments, and all of the taxes and fees we generate, but activities like the golf outing are where the men and women who work here roll up their sleeves to help and have some fun in the process.” 

And in the end – the entire effort circles back to one of Range’s Core Values: continually supporting and improving the quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work.

Read More about Range's Corporate Giving here