Wheatland's Cram the Van campaign kicked off on September 13 at the first-ever Co-ops Care Charity Golf Tournament hosted by Wheatland Electric Cooperative and Victory Electric Cooperative, Inc. The warm weather contributed to ideal weather conditions at the Golf Club at Southwind in Garden City where participants joined in friendly competition to raise money for two worthy causes.
All tournament proceeds were divided to benefit Wheatland Electric's Cram the Van food drive and Friends of Wright Park Zoo in Dodge City. Each nonprofit organization makes a positive difference in their communities.
Friends of the Wright Park Zoo is raising funds for a zoo revitalization project aimed at creating a more enriching environment for the animals in the zoo's care, updating habitats and educating the community with unique experiences. The zoo currently entertains more than 60,000 visitors per year and is home to about 126 animals, representing approximately 30 species from nearly every continent.
The Cram the Van food drive program started five years ago in response to an appeal from cooperative members who wished to have a method to help other members within their own communities. Each fall, the big, red van plastered with flashy graphics, travels to several communities across western and central Kansas including Caldwell, Conway Springs, Great Bend, Holcomb, Tribune and Scott City collecting donations and non-perishable food items. In the five years since the program began, more than 32 tons of food have been donated to local food banks.
Thirty teams participated with the championship team completing the course with an impressive score of 56 followed by two teams shooting 58.