77 Kids Foundation hosts charity golf tournament

By MACKENZEE SIMMS | Staff Writer

CALERA – With current and retired NFL players, college athletes and a three time Olympian, the 77 Kids Foundation hosted its first annual charity golf tournament to benefit The Arc of Shelby County at the Timberline Golf Course in Calera, Alabama on Friday, May 10.

Attendees at the 77 Kids Foundation Charity Golf Tournament included current Baltimore Raven’s starting cornerback Marlon Humphries, his father and former NFL player Bobby Humphries, former NFL cornerback Antonio Langham, former NFL wide receiver Devin Aromashodu, Alabama Crimson Tide’s defensive back Malachi Moore, Miles College’s Head Football Coach Sam Shade and three-time Olympian Mark Everett, as well as current athletes from the University of Alabama, Auburn University and Samford University.

All of these athletes gathered on the green for a morning of golf and laughter to support the 77 Kids Foundation and the Arc of Shelby County.

The 77 Kids Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth development through sports and community involvement by offering affordable extracurricular opportunities.

According to the founder of 77 Kids, Byron De’Vinner, this year’s charity golf tournament is a continuation of that mission, as well as an opportunity to give back to a charity that benefits his home town of Calera and surrounding communities.

The idea to host a charity golf tournament came from a few different 77 Kids Foundation sponsors. When De’Vinner set out to plan the event, he knew he wanted to partner with a local charity and donate the event proceeds.

De’Vinner began his research into local charities where many would typically begin— Google—and The Arc of Shelby County was the first search engine result.

“This is our first annual golf tournament to benefit the 77 Kids Foundation and The Arc of Shelby County,” De’Vinner said. “I was looking for an avenue that we could make a donation to. I honestly didn’t know anything about the Arc until I went and sat down with them. God led me in the right direction.”

With a recently opened location in Calera, The Arc of Shelby County’s mission is to provide services and programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities or developmental delays. According to The Arc of Shelby County’s Director of Development and Community Relations Carole Lyons, the organization services around 1,500 families in both Shelby and Chilton County through early intervention, employment services and outreach programs.

“We are here to support and partner with the 77 Kids Foundation,” Lyons said. “Bryon (De’Vinner) reached out to us because this is very near and dear to his heart, him being from Shelby County and us being a Shelby County organization. We want to support what he’s doing as well as him supporting what we’re doing.”

The Arc of Shelby County’s Outreach and Engagement Specialist Alan Beck shared that he hopes events such as the 77 Kids Foundation Charity Golf Tournament help raise awareness about the resources that the organization offers.

“We’ve been around for years, but a lot of people haven’t heard about us, so we like to make sure people know what we are and that we’re here,” Beck said.

Players teed off at 8 a.m. and after a morning on the fairway, guests gathered in the clubhouse for lunch and an auction featured items such as footballs signed by stars such as Bo Jackson as well as signed prints details some of sport’s greatest moments.

Former NFL player and member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Bobby Humphrey shared that he was happy to come out and support both the 77 Kids Foundation and The Arc of Shelby County, as well as his friend, De’Vinner.

“Byron De’Vinner is a good friend of mine,” Bobby said. “He’s got a heart of gold. He’s poured into a lot of good professional players, current NFL players and former NFL players. We’re out here hoping we can raise some money for a great organization.”

Bobby’s son, Marlon Humphrey, followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the NFL in 2017, drafted 16th overall by the Baltimore Ravens.

When Marlon got the invitation to attend the charity golf tournament, he shared that he had to shift a lot of things in his schedule, but wanted to make it work.

“I’ve known (De’Vinner) for a long time,” Marlon said. “A lot of the things he does for the community are geared through football, but a lot of it is also for charity. Whenever he has an event, the money raised is always funneled back to a good cause.”

De’Vinner shared that he was grateful to every person that joined the 77 Kids Foundation for the golf tournament, but he is ultimately glad to be able to give back to his community.

“It’s a blessing to have so much support,” De’Vinner said. “It’s a testament to see that God has put me in a position to be able to give back to others. Growing up here in Shelby County, people gave and helped me so much. It’s been a blessing to be able to do this.”

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