About 100 golfers fearlessly braved the approaching dark, cloudy skies at the 1st Annual SofTec Invitational Golf Event on Friday, July 19th to support OpenWorld Learning (OWL), a non-profit after-school computer kids program. Fortunately, a heavy thunderstorm predicted days before failed to materialize as the clouds cleared and sun returned to the Lone Tree Golf Club.

It was a positive omen for the rest of the day for the 13-year-old non-profit whose mission is to “Ignite a love of learning” for at-risk youth through technology and advanced computer training for the 21st century. And, thanks to OWL board member and SofTec Solutions, Inc. CEO Hemal Jhaveri, staffers and volunteers from SofTec and OWL, the event reached its expectations in attendance and fundraising goals.

SofTec and Commvault sponsored the golf outing to help support OWL’s mission of children’s school success by tapping the power of digital technology and peer teaching to develop youth leadership and a lifelong appreciation for technology. Founded in 1996, SofTec is an IT consulting services company serving federal, state and local governments, commercial and healthcare IT clients nationwide.

The Lone Tree Golf Club was an ideal setting for golf aficionados representing some of Denver’s top tech, data information and retail corporations. Jennifer Harding and Stephanie Tolman of SofTec and Aimee Charlton of the Colorado Technology Association worked feverishly to organize and launch the first-ever event with coordination from OWL Managing Director Lea Ann Reitzig, OWL Communications Manager Jan Wood and staff members and volunteers.

The 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed course attracted a long list of CEOs, upper management, business development strategists and various corporate reps from the public and private sector.  SofTec Solutions fielded several of its own top executive golfers including Paul Anderson, VP of operations; Zane Jones, senior director of business development; and Eddy Costa, healthcare IT director.

Among other players were: Lewan CEO/President Fred Cannataro and Greg Ask of Lewan’s Enterprise Solutions group; John Lemon, senior account manager at EMC; Jeff Henrickson, president at Spotlight, Inc.; Jacob Woodford, general manager of Staples; Todd Papazian, VP of global corporate services at CBRE real estate; Peter Niepoth, co-founder of OCx voice and data networks and Kara Worker, OCx account manager; Erik Durand of Tintri data storage; Pete Dignan, president/founder of ProtoTest; Trent Ratcliff and Rahul Sood of RTD; Jim Braun, operations director at Google; Brian Horsman, VP of IT at Croc’s; and Denovo’s Paul Herbka, winner of free tickets to the OWL October gala.

The afternoon event attracted golfers of many talents ranging from intense focus on the putting green to a more lackadaisical and casual play. Who knew IT and tech folks could be so much fun? Afterward players relaxed with an open bar and a casual Mexican feast of tacos, tortillas and churros for dessert. At the podium Jhaveri and OWL CEO Dean Abrams described OWL’s mission and thanked the crowd for their contributions and participation. SofTec representative Jennifer Harding and the Colorado Technology Association’s Amiee Charlton announced golf awards and raffle winners amid applause and some minor hoots and howls from the dinner crowd.

Since its founding in 2000 OpenWorld Learning has provided fun and challenging after-school and summer educational programs centered on advanced computer technology. To learn more about Open World Learning or to make a donation call 303-832-0066 or visit www.openworldlearning.org. In the meantime, be sure to look into attending OpenWorld Learning’s 8th Annual Gala and Auction scheduled for Tuesday evening, October 22, 2013 at Glendale’s Infinity Park Event Center.