Volunteer Spotlight: Charlie Strauser
Volunteer chairman, Operation Aware’s annual golf tournament
Jim Bloser, David Murlette, Charlie Strauser and Steve Jagger at the 2014 Operation Aware Golf Tournament.
Charlie Strauser still knows how to stage a successful fundraiser. Approximately 27 years ago, he was an executive committee member of the now-defunct Hillcrest Associates Foundation Board. Through that role, he was involved with its “CrestFest” event, which raised funds for the “Blood and Guts” program that taught elementary school children about healthy lifestyle choices.
Strauser helped transition the program to Operation Aware, and although “Blood and Guts” eventually dissolved, he is still raising funds to educate students. Retired from Flintco, he now serves as volunteer chairman for Operation Aware’s annual golf tournament on Aug. 3.
“As CrestFest was a significant fundraiser for Blood and Guts, our golf event serves the same purpose for OA by providing funds for scholarships,” Strauser says.
Operation Aware mission statement: “Equipping youth, through prevention education, with knowledge and skills, to make positive life choices.”
Years Strauser has been involved in Operation Aware’s golf tournament: nine; has chaired the planning committee each year.
What is your job during the tournament? On the day of the event, I arrive early to support the committee and OA staff. I attempt to greet each of the golfers as they arrive and thank them for their support. We have a lot of repeat teams from year to year, and I feel they have a really good time. The truth is that workwise I do pretty much nothing the day of the event. My core committee — Alex Gravely, Laurie Graves, Jeff Grippando, Brent Lewis, Jeni Dolan and Rhonda McDaniel — and the Prevention Educators who volunteer that day are totally awesome and do a great job of taking care of our players and getting everything set up.
Aug. 3 — Operation Aware annual Golf Tournament
8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Cedar Ridge Country Club, 10302 S. Garnett Road, Broken Arrow. Includes breakfast snack, lunch and chances to win door prizes; a set of golf clubs will be raffled. $350, individuals; $1,400, teams of four. Benefits Operation Aware. Contact Rhonda McDaniel, 918-582-7884, ext. 104, or visit www.operationaware.org.