On Monday we’ll be kicking off our 7th annual Blackie Wills Golf Classic. This highly anticipated tournament is one of our most impactful events and embodies the Wills Group’s unwavering commitment to community engagement. This Monday, September 11, at Turf Valley Resort in Central Maryland, friends and business partners will gather on the green with a shared goal: to raise funds that directly support our communities’ most pressing needs.
All proceeds from this event will benefit the Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund, dedicated to investing in programs that address the basic needs of underserved populations and revitalize public spaces, enabling neighborhoods to thrive. The Fund was established in honor of former President, and my grandfather, Julian Blacklock “Blackie” Wills, who championed numerous non-profit and civic initiatives during his tenure.
Since 2017, we have proudly raised over $2 million at our annual Blackie Wills Golf Classics for the Fund, bolstering the Wills Group’s charitable work in the communities where we live and operate. Last year’s Golf Classic exceeded its $300,000 goal, successfully raising over $342,000. This year, we aim to raise $400,000 with the support of our partners. The funds raised will support our two Community Engagement Signature Programs: Nourishing Children and Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces.
Nourishing Children and Families
Thanks to the Blackie Wills Golf Classic and the generosity of our sponsors, the Wills Group has been able to amplify our support for regional food banks and organizations dedicated to addressing childhood hunger and providing nutritious meals for children and their families. These funds played a pivotal role in our recent allocation of $450,000 in grants to seven nonprofits – the Maryland Food Bank, Capital Area Food Bank, Food Bank of Delaware, Feed More, Lifestyles of Maryland, Farming 4 Hunger, and the Southern Maryland Food Bank – addressing both immediate hunger concerns and offering long-term solutions to food insecurity.
Reimagining Outdoor Spaces
Our Reimagining Outdoor Spaces initiative underscores our dedication to transforming neglected outdoor areas into vibrant community spaces. Through this program, we aim to create environments where residents can connect, play, and thrive. A prime example of this initiative in action is Tanglewood Park in Clinton, Maryland. Collaborating with local partners and the community, we’re on a mission to revitalize this beloved park, introducing art-infused basketball courts and enhancing accessibility. Prior to Tanglewood, our efforts were showcased at Phoenix Run Park in La Plata, Maryland. With support from the Blackie Wills Golf Classic, we invested over $130,000 and collaborated with local businesses and community members to transform this once neglected neighborhood park into a beacon of community pride and recreational function.
Golf, Gratitude, and Giving: Making Every Round Count
The Blackie Wills Golf Classic is our largest fundraising event of the year, and it’s the generosity of our sponsors that allow us to further our impact year after year.
Game festivities kick off on Sunday evening with a Recognition Reception and dinner, a special occasion to express gratitude to our sponsors and mingle with fellow tournament participants. Come Monday morning, golfers will tee off at 9:00, after opening remarks and a shotgun start.
The heart of the Wills Group beats with a singular purpose: to keep Lives in Motion. Our family of businesses — Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash, and SMO Motor Fuels — are proud pillars of this mission. Every interaction with our customers is an opportunity to help them get to where they need to be, both in the moment and long-term. Through the Golf Classic and the Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund, we’re expanding access to nutrition resources and fostering community connections, truly setting Lives in Motion.
Stay tuned to learn more about our fundraising results from this year’s Blackie Wills Golf Classic!
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About The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund
The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund was created in remembrance of the Wills Group President Julian Blacklock “Blackie” Wills and his commitment to giving back to local communities. Carrying on this tradition at the Wills Group, The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund actively reinvests in the community in order to help keep lives in motion and ensure people in need have opportunities to achieve their hopes and dreams. The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund (BWCLF) is a component fund within Chesapeake Charities, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Chesapeake Charities financial statement is available on their website, www.chesapeakecharities.org, at their office located at 101 Log Canoe Circle, Suite 0, Stevensville, MD 21666, or through the Secretary of State, Charitable Division, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401.