Ron Williams: “Because we have to give back what the world gave us.”
Ron Williams is among the few who prefer meeting face to face instead of communicating via email. In his leather-covered black briefcase, he safeguards pamphlets, articles, and promotional posters – all evidence of his many charitable achievements. He exudes pride and a profound consideration for the world around him.
After his close friend Kenneth “Kenny” Rockhead passed away, Ron Williams wanted to organize an event in his memory, “I really admired and respected this guy. When he died, I realized that Kenny never knew how much I loved him.” Upon careful reflection, Ron decided that the best way to honor his friend would be to host a pool tournament in his name. Determined, he asked Ana, Kenny’s wife, for her permission.
Since playing pool was a passion the two friends shared with their relatives, the choice of a pool tournament came naturally. It did, however, take a lot of time and effort for Ron to find community sponsors for his event. “I knocked on every single one of their doors. Everyone was so willing and happy to help. Everyone was so generous.” His 15 years as a warehouse manager at Benjamin News gave him the necessary tools to coordinate each edition of the tournament and within only three years, Ron managed to double the number of original sponsors. His hard work and dedication has paid off- since 2014, the three editions of the Kenny Rockhead Pool Tournament have raised impressive amounts of money for the cause.
“We were put on this earth but we have to work. The world doesn’t owe you anything; you have to show how you can give back. Things just don’t fall into your lap. If you fall, you have to get back up. God put everybody on this earth with a special gift.”
While his admiration for Kenny was the main motivator for the event, Ron is also following his mother’s path, who was greatly involved with her church. His faith inspired him to pursue this major project, “we were put on this earth but we have to work. The world doesn’t owe you anything; you have to show how you can give back. Things just don’t fall into your lap. If you fall, you have to get back up. God put everybody on this earth with a special gift.” Ron believes he is not an exception. His special gift is his ability to use his skills for the greater good. He loves reaching his limits but even more so, he loves stretching them further.
The Kenny Rockhead Pool Tournament not only contributes to moving the ALS cause forward- it also fills Ron with pride. “After each event, I feel complete and satisfied. Giving something back makes me feel content.” Even though the event happens once a year, Ron is working on it every day. As soon as the latest edition is over, he is already thinking about what he will do the following year, always with the goal of keeping Kenny’s legacy alive. Kenny would undoubtedly be proud of what Ron has done in his honor. When asked what he thought his friend would say, Ron paused for a moment and answered, “You did a good job, Ron.”
Like Ron, you too can create your own fundraising event!