For the first time in its 23 year history, the Westchase District’s Corporate Challenge has been cancelled. “We’d originally hoped to simply postpone it to a later day,” said Sherry Fox, organizer of the event. “But as Harris County and the City of Houston looked to extend their guidelines against large gatherings, it became obvious that we could not reschedule. Doing an outdoor event of this magnitude in Houston’s summer temperatures isn’t practical or safe. And hosting a late fall event and doing it again just a few months later in the spring also seemed impractical. In the end, we decided to cancel the 2020 event and begin planning a particularly epic 2021 event.”
All sponsors and teams were offered the opportunity to receive a reimbursement on their fees. “Some businesses did ask for their money back,” said Fox. “But the vast majority said they’d be happy to donate their fees, knowing that they would be used by the Westchase District Community Fund and distributed to serve current needs in our community which have been made worse by the pandemic.”
Leading the way was our 2020 Title Sponsor Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam. LAN’s Ricky Gonzalez discussed the sponsorship with LAN’s President Wayne Swafford and Vice President Steve Gilbreath. All agreed to allow the sponsorship money to stay with the community. “We all agreed that Westchase is LAN’s home and, as such, we need to take care of our own,” said Gonzalez. “We look forward to partnering with Westchase and the Corporate Challenge next year.”
Woodbranch Management‘s Kim Peck replied similarly. “We would be happy to contribute this amount and not receive a refund for this event.”
Here are some other responses from our generous sponsors:
“We will be happy for our sponsorship money to be donated to the Community Fund.” – Megan Tatsch, Harvey Builders
“I have spoken with the owners and Odyssey will not be requesting a refund.” – Blake Ahrendsen, Odyssey Engineering Group
“We are happy to support our community in any way we can. We appreciate the funds will still be used to benefit those who need assistance.” – Anne Emery, Primrose School of The Westchase District
“With regards to the sponsorship check, please consider it a donation to the Community Fund. We are part of the Westchase Community and we care a lot about it.” – Muhammad Ali, Gauge Engineering
After refunds were issued, almost $18,000 is still available to distribute to area charities. In addition to the companies listed above, here is a complete list of all the Corporate Challenge sponsors and participants who have made this possible.
American InterContinental University
Associated Testing Laboratories
DBR Engineering Consultants
Grace Presbyterian Church
Houston Community College
McCall Gibson Swedlund Barfoot
Van De Wiele & Vogler
Veritas Equity Management
Summer Camp and Charitable Support
Since 1998, the Westchase District’s Corporate Challenge has raised almost $300,000 for area charities. “We are grateful to those sponsors who step up each year for this event,” said Craig Eichhorn, newly installed chairman of the Westchase District Community Fund.
On March 24, Eichhorn and Louis Jullien, treasurer of the WDCF, presented a $2000 check to West Houston Assistance Ministries to aid them in their stepped-up work to support needs in the community right now. “WHAM is doing exceptional work to help those who find themselves unemployed and need financial assistance because of the economic crisis associated with the Coronavirus,” said Eichhorn. “Our board is pleased to be able to help them during this time of need.”
The WDCF board will be authorizing other charitable contributions in the days and weeks ahead, including a contribution to Quillian Recreation Center’s summer day camps, a long-time beneficiary of the Corporate Challenge.