MCALLEN, Texas – A foundation run by INDEX Reynosa, the maquiladora trade association, raised almost $100,000 for charitable causes from its annual golf tournament.

Fundación de Reynosa Asociación de Maquiladoras y Manufactureras, A.C. (RAMMAC) made donations to various nonprofits at a Christmas party held at the Cambria Hotel in McAllen last week.

Among the nonprofits to benefit were Children’s Haven International, Rio Bravo Ministries, Teleton, Miradas de Esperanza, and DIF Reynosa.

Mike Myers, who handles social responsibility for the INDEX Reynosa board of directors, said this year’s charitable fundraising efforts set a record.

“This year we had a change. The City of Pharr has been working with us and approached us about moving the golf tournament to their golf course. Not only did they lower our costs, they just gave us beautiful sponsorships. Way more than in the past,” Myers told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service.

“The toughest call I had to make was to Carlos Espinoza because he has treated us like gold over the years. But he realizes we give away the net proceeds of this event. He tapped me on the back and said, Mr. Myers, we know what you do with your money.”

Carlos Espinosa is director of golf for the City of McAllen and manages the city’s Palm View Golf Course. For many years, Fundación RAMMAC held its annual golf tournament at Palm View. This year it switched to the City of Pharr’s Tierra Del Sol Golf Course.

“The first call I made was to Carlos because we did make the switch to Pharr and they did a wonderful job. We probably set a record number of donations this year. We set a record number of golfers this year. And that was in spite of the non-essential travel ban being in operation. Next year, if God blesses us, we will get bigger and better and be able to make more donations.”

Asked how long Fundación RAMMAC has been making donations to charitable causes in Reynosa, Myers said: “According to Enrique, and he is as old as dirt – and I am next to him, I am nearly as old as dirt, I have only been here 16 years, I was in El Paso-Juarez before that – we have been giving donations for ever but we did not make it a charity golf tournament until 2011.”

Myers was referring to Enrique Castro, a former president of INDEX Reynosa.

Myers said turning INDEX’s annual golf tournament into a charity fundraising event was the game changer.

“That is when it exploded. Before, we used to use the proceeds from the golf tournament to pay for our picnic. We had our own picnic and MEDC had its own picnic. Well, MEDC and our board came up with the great idea… instead of two picnics, let’s just have one. So that left us with this golf tournament and this spare day and what we were going to do with the money.”

MEDC stands for McAllen Economic Development Corporation.

“I had been on the board for so many years and I kept watching people come and ask us, can you donate to us. They needed us to make donations. With our (Index Reynosa) dues structure, we do not have money to make donations. We are pretty limited in what we can do. So, we had to have a stand alone deal. So we decided to make the golf tournament a charity event and the rest is history. This year we will be close to, approaching, six figures. We got really close this year to making a donation of six figures to these different groups.”

The goal next year will be to top six figures, Myers said. He said he is thrilled to handle social responsibility for INDEX Reynosa and thanked his colleagues Bryan Cook and Andrew Hettinger for helping organize the golf tournament.

“I have the great job of social responsibility. After all these years of being on the board… I listen to the security problems and all these other problems. But I get to do the fun stuff. I graduated and I got to handle the fun things of generating money and giving it away.” 

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Mike Myers, Humberto Martínez Cantú, and Martha Ramos of INDEX Reynosa presenting a check to Avelina Escobar of DIF Reynosa.

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