Orange County, Calif., has become known as the epicenter of homelessness in America and many QSC employees see plenty of evidence of that epidemic as they drive to and from work every day—so they decided to do something about it.
The QSC Charity Golf Classic is a scramble tournament now in its fourth year that attracts QSC employees, partners, vendors and even competitors to compete on the links, have a little fun and raise money for the United Way of Orange County.
This year’s Charity Golf Classic—set for Monday, March 16 at Tustin Ranch Golf Course—has a fundraising goal of $25,000. Those who don’t want to or can’t participate in the golf portion of the day can donate raffle items for the evening portion of the event.
“Being able to hold a golf tournament in March is great, but this issue of homelessness is a big problem as well because of the weather,” says Cory Schaeffer, director of strategic industry relations at QSC. “It’s an issue that a lot of QSC employees drive by on their way to work.
“We know the AV industry is a tight-knit community. Even those we might see as competitors to QSC are welcome. At the end of the day, we welcome doing good work wherever it comes. It’s a small industry and we just want all the help we can get,” she says.
QSC Charity Golf Classic Growing
Last year’s QSC Charity Golf Classic attracted more than 120 participants, including United Way of Orange County CEO Susan B. Parks and they’re looking to top that this year, says Schaeffer.
The United Way “has been incredibly active” in solving the homelessness problem and they came to the QSC office to share “some serious statistics and their vision of what they plan to do to solve it,” Schaeffer says. The organization wants to eradicate homelessness in Orange County by 2024.
Almost 70 percent of the homeless people surveyed by Orange County United Way staff have been in Orange County for more than 10 years and about 90 percent of them were born in the United States. More than half of them are at least 50 years old.
United Way staff is promoting community awareness, seeking public and private funding and looking into the causes and economic impact of homelessness in its quest to wipe it out, says Schaeffer.
“We all might have our own perception of people living on the street and what got them there,” she says. “Many people live paycheck to paycheck and if you miss one, that might be one reason you end up out on the street.
“When you learn the stats of who these people are, it becomes more personal. I think we shatter perceptions of what got a person there. Once you’re aware, you feel more of a responsibility and if you can give, you want to give,” she says.
Having Parks and the United Way Orange County president at the QSC Charity Golf Classic “helps them share their appreciation for all who participate, but also in building that public awareness about how big of a problem this really is,” says Schaeffer. Plus, it’s nice to spend a March day on a golf course, she says.
“Whenever we can spend a day with people in our industry, that’s a good thing,” says Schaeffer.
QSC has an internal team that focuses on giving back to the community. In addition to QSC’s work with the United Way through the Charity Golf Classic and Read for the Record event that dispatches employees to local elementary schools to read to students, they also host toy, blood and diaper drives.
“All of us are in search of a purpose and a meaning,” says Schaeffer. “We all know that when you’re able to give and support and uplift those who are less fortunate, it actually does more for you than for them. We just want to see that continue.
“It makes you want to work harder for an organization that’s willing to give more,” she says.
Click here for more information about or to register for the 2020 QSC Charity Golf Classic.
Coming next Monday: The next installment in our Connected to the Community series. If you know about an AV or IT company doing something good, email executive editor Craig MacCormack at firstname.lastname@example.org.