REDDING, Calif. - The Nor-Cal Retired Coaches Association is hosting a benefit golf tournament at Riverview Country Club on Monday, July 28. The tournament will be the local group's first effort at fundraising, with the purpose of providing scholarships for high school athletes. It is the final product of the accumulation of months of preparation, planning and hard work by one of the newest nonprofit organizations in the Redding area.
The Nor-Cal RCA's roots can be traced to summer 2013, when a handful of former Northstate high school coaches started meeting at the Snack Shack on Thursday mornings to socialize and reminisce about their coaching careers. The decision to formalize into a local organization came naturally as more and more retired coaches joined the social gathering.
"As the group began to grow we decided we needed to do something, we needed to organize into an official group of retired coaches and have some sort of positive impact on the community," said Lon McCasland, president of the Nor-Cal RCA and a coach for more than 20 years between Shasta, Berkeley and Nova high schools.
Bob Johnson, who coached for a total of 14 years between Central Valley, Durham and Shasta high schools, has been a driving force behind the establishment of the benefit golf tournament. The tournament is meant to raise scholarships for deserving Northstate high school student-athletes who want to continue their education at the collegiate level and who may or may not want to play college sports. The group jokingly credits Johnson for taking what was supposed to be a small, low-key event to an entirely different level – a community-wide tournament.
Since the first of the year, the Nor-Cal RCA has recruited a total of 34 sponsors for the event and raised over $4000 in raffle prizes to give away during the tournament. The number of scholarships the Nor-Cal RCA will give to deserving high school students in spring 2015 depends on the funds raised from the benefit golf tournament, and the organization has been overwhelmed with the amount of community support it has received for the event.
"The support we have received really speaks volumes about the community and the support that is out there if you have a good cause and you are willing to go out there and promote it," Johnson said. "Overall, there have been approximately 80 different contributors to the event and that's really exciting."
Contributors to the event include local banks, restaurants, media groups and several other area businesses. The influx of community support can be partially attributed to the relationships the members built with various people – former students, parents and general sports-enthusiasts – during their coaching careers. The benefit golf tournament has allowed the Nor-Cal RCA members to re-connect with these community residents, and use their local ties to help build a positive future for kids in the area.
Bob Smith, Shasta High School's former head swim coach for 29 years, has additionally helped get the group involved with community service events beyond the benefit golf tournament. This year the Nor-Cal RCA has volunteered for multiple organizations and events including ringing kettle bells for the Salvation Army and helping out with Celebrate 10 and J.F. Shea's 38th Annual Fishing Day.
"I'm sure a lot more community events are going to fall into line for us because they are fun to do and we really want to get involved," Smith said. "We love this community and it has embraced what we are trying to do and that has just been wonderful."
For more information about the Nor-Cal RCA and Benefit Golf Tournament, visit www.norcalrca.org