BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — More than $115,000 in event proceeds from Antero Resources’ 3rd annual Dodgeball Tournament was presented to local organizations Friday morning.
Patrons of the Park and Genesis Youth Center were the recipients of this year’s fundraiser, each receiving $57,500 in donations.
Shawn Bennett, a construction manager of Antero who co-chaired the event, said the annual fundraiser continues to grow each year and completely surpassed any expectations for this year’s total.
“It’s grown every year. We’ve been very fortunate. The contractors who work for us in this area, they’re very generous and they like to give back to the community,” Bennett said. “We set our goal at $100,000 this year, and we ended up a little bit over that. We’re happy to meet that goal and split it between two charities. It’ll do a lot of good in the community.”
Bennett said last year’s fundraising total was around $75,000 and the year before was about $60,000, making this year’s a significant spike.
“We’re almost to the point where we’re outgrowing our currently facility at Hite Field, so we may end up having to look at other options,” he said. “The Harrison County Board of Education lets us use Hite Field. We’ve partnered with them the last couple years, and it’s just been a great all around event that’s done a lot of good.”
The is was the third year for the now annual fundraiser, held at Hite Field in Clarksburg. Bennett said the idea was sparked during a yearly meeting of Antero’s fundraising committee and just continued to blossom.
“It started out at the Clarksburg City Park, and we only had a couple field,” he said. “Last year we ended up having four fields, and this year we had over 80 teams. It was a big event.”
The very first year benefited just the Patrons of the Park, but then Antero’s staff saw how much of a difference the fundraiser was capable of making.
“We saw how much money we raised, and then we said the next year we would add a couple more charities,” Bennett said. “We added the West Virginia Children’s Home Society and we did the same thing in Ohio. Then this year we added the Genesis Youth Center. We try to spread it around as much as we can.”
Making headlines for donations isn’t anything new for Antero. The company often gets involved in community service and support their local communities in various ways.
“We’re just very blessed, the people that work for Antero — not only the employees but the contractors — to be a part of the oil and gas industry, which treats the state very good, it treats us very good,” Bennett said. “Antero wants to be able to spread that wealth around and do what they can in the community to pick everyone up — not just people that work in the industry, but the people that live around the industry, deal with us working and have kids in the industry.”
As for getting in the game itself, Bennett said he passed this year.
“The first two years I played, but this year I didn’t even participate. It’s getting too big and too busy running around,” he said. “It was fun the first couple years to get out and throw around some balls, but this year it’s grown so much and we had so many teams that from an organizational standpoint, we needed a little more administrative help. It was kind of all hands on deck this year.”