CHAMR Golf Tournament to Benefit Christmas Charities

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cthomas@cnpapers.com 304-348-1232

As it has done steadfastly for decades, the Charleston- Huntington Association of Manufacturers' Representatives is sponsoring a golf outing this month to benefit area Christmas charities throughout the Kanawha Valley.

The association of food industry suppliers will host its annual charity golf event on Monday, Sept. 24 at Greenhills Country Club in Ravenswood. More than 100 golfers have signed up to participate in the organization's largest fundraiser of the year.

The golf outing has taken place for more than 50 years, said CHAMR Secretary Bob Corey, the chairman and CEO of Corey Brothers Inc. Wholesale Produce in Charleston. While the field is filled for Monday's benefit tournament, he said, opportunities remain available for hole sponsors to participate.

"We're sold out this year, which is exciting, but we're not sold out for hole sponsors. When someone makes a contribution to be a hole sponsor, all of the money goes to our Christmas charities," said Corey.

Corey said the CHAMR's roots in the Kanawha Valley go back to the 1940s.

"It used to be Charleston Association of Manufacturers' Representatives and then we had the Huntington Association of Manufacturers' Representatives. The two groups merged in the early 1990s, I believe, to form the Charleston-Huntington Association of Manufacturers' Representatives.

"Groups like this exist in all metro areas of the United States," he said. "We're food-related industry representatives, and our function is twofold: one, to provide an atmosphere of communication and courtesy and fellowship with our customers; we traditionally have four to five meetings a year where we host a customer, such as Foodland, Super Valu, Forth Foods ... generally the people most of these fellows do business with.

"Equally important is that we do fund raising throughout the year, as we're nonprofit, to contribute to up to eight worthwhile charities in the Charleston-Huntington area."

Among the numerous area organizations CHAMR has supported, over more than a half-century, are the Union Mission, the Salvation Army, Aldersgate United Methodist Church's charity efforts in the Sissonville area and Charleston Newspapers' Neediest Cases, Corey said.

"It's a terrific organization; there's a lot of camaraderie. This is truly a local organization that supports local business, local industry and local charities," he said.

Dickinson Gould III, president and owner of Buzz Food Service in Charleston, has served as the CHAMR president for the past four years. He said the longtime organization affords a variety of social and professional rewards for all involved.

"CHAMR is West Virginia's association for food industry suppliers. For more than 60 years, members have enjoyed the benefits of a robust calendar of annual events, a first-class line-up of guest speakers and the best networking vehicle for food industry professionals in the Mountain State. In 2011, more than 125 associates participated, representing 50-plus companies.

"Our membership shares a commitment to retail grocery and food service customers that is refreshing to see. …