The Gregg Williams Foundation held its annual Tiger Classic Friday, July 12, raising approximately $78,500 to benefit programs for the youth of Excelsior Springs.
Gregg Williams said he wanted to help kids in his hometown gain the opportunity to give back themselves.
“I was a child in this hometown that had a lot of people who had an impact in my life,” he said. “So, my thought process was, why don’t we go back here (and) get something started to help other kids grow up and come back and help other kids, and help other kids and help other kids for years to come.”
The Gregg Williams Foundation helps fund programs designed to help area youth, including iPads for elementary-aged children, equipment for the Excelsior Springs High School weight room and the four-sided scoreboard at the ESHS gymnasium.
In addition to this, the foundation created a scholarship program in 2012.
Each year the foundation can give out two awards in varying amounts.
The scholarship grants may be used exclusively for tuition at post-secondary educational institutions, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for courses, or for room and board expenses.
Williams said the foundation holds no paid employees, they all volunteer their time to help the kids. In addition to this, all the kids who receive funds from the foundation must also come back and volunteer their time.
All the funds raised stay in Excelsior and any vendor used resides in Excelsior, he said. Every penny stays in the community.
He said he finds it fun to see the kids the foundation helped years ago come back to help the kids now.
Williams said his friends from college, including the head coach at Truman State, came back to play with him this weekend.
Williams said the foundation raises the bulk of the money from their auction each year.
“The bulk of our money comes from the free items that are sent to us that all over the country, all over the world, really,” he said. “(People) send in items here to auction off for kids in Excelsior Springs.”
Williams said he never finds it difficult to get people to come back each year. They simply fall in love with Excelsior Springs. They fall in love with the kids.
This will is always a fun week for the community, he said. The residents always enjoy coming out and out-of-towners always enjoy spending time in the community.
“Let’s do everything we can to make sure we’re doing things right for the kids,” Williams said. “We’re setting a good example, but we’re also providing a good example and it’s easy for me to always give back because when I come home, I feel like I’m home again.”