Earlier this month, CIRI hosted its annual summer golf tournament to raise money for worthy charities and the weather did not disappoint. The tournament was held at the Moose Run Golf Course between Anchorage and Eagle River and we had an excellent turnout from our friends, business partners and dedicated volunteers.
This year marked a special anniversary of the CIRI Golf Classic. Thirty years ago, the tournament was started as a way to raise money for The CIRI Foundation to support the educational aspirations of original CIRI shareholders and their lineal descendants. Since then, the tournament has raised millions of dollars – not only for The CIRI Foundation – but for a number of other important charities that benefit our shareholders and community.
Thanks to the 144 players and generous corporate sponsors, the 30th CIRI Golf Classic raised more than $100,000 for three nonprofit organizations – Covenant House Alaska, Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s ARISE program andthe new Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program at Alaska Pacific University. From helping at-risk youth and providing them with tools to achieve their educational goals, to cultivating the next generation of Alaska Native executives, these programs fulfill the mission of the CIRI golf tournament that has not changed in 30 years – support youth and education.
Corporate citizenship is a core value at CIRI and illustrates the company’s genuine concern for the welfare and long-term sustainability of the communities in which CIRI conducts business. CIRI’s commitment to social responsibility and corporate giving is an investment with long-term benefits for our family of shareholders, employees and the larger Alaska Native population.
CIRI is proud of the contributions it makes to better our region and the state. And it’s not just the corporation with so-called “skin in the game.” It’s gratifying to see the generosity that CIRI employees express throughout the year.
Each year at CIRI we have an employee-giving campaign to benefit the United Way of Anchorage. Last year, employees contributed nearly $70,000 of their own money to the United Way campaign. With matching funds from the company, CIRI’s workplace campaign topped $100,000. And, we’re excited to report, the program is growing within our company. In 2012, the participation among CIRI employees grew by 27 percent and total campaign dollars increased by 17 percent. These dollars go directly to important programs within our community – programs such as increasing the high school graduation rate among Anchorage teens. In 2006, the graduation rate was 59 percent. Today, it is 73 percent. We are well on our way to achieving the ambitious goal of 90 percent by 2020!
CIRI employees also participate in a number of volunteer opportunities. These include serving lunch at Beans Café, which provides meals to Anchorage’s homeless population; distributing donated food through Cook Inlet Housing Authority’s Mobile Food Pantry to senior citizens; supporting the Blood Bank of Alaska; manning phone banks for public radio fund drives and volunteering their time and expertise on various nonprofit boards. In addition, the employees at CIRI’s subsidiary companies are involved in numerous other charitable organizations.
We’re proud of the corporate citizenship CIRI and its employees display each day. Giving back and sharing is among the traditional values at the core of our cultural heritage as Alaska Natives. Today, CIRI is an integral part of the communities in the Cook Inlet region. The support CIRI provides to the many programs and services is essential to helping build stronger communities and to enhance the quality of life for CIRI shareholders and other Alaska Native and American Indian people in Southcentral Alaska.