Corporate Responsibility

Shooting clays for a cause takes perfect aim at supporting Ronald McDonald House

September 30, 2020

Volunteer, Rick Bloniarz (left) from Eastern Shipping Worldwide joins “Eastern Squad” participants Sara and Jason at the 2020 RMHC-CNI Clays Tournament. Funds raised at the shooting skills event help to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana.

Even though it’s been a tough year for in-person gatherings, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana still found a way to make their much-anticipated 2020 Sporting Clays Tournament happen on September 25th and 26th. The event helped raise over $200,000 to provide more than 2,105 nights that families will be able to stay near their hospitalized children.

With ideal autumn weather, clear skies, and warm temps, participants gathered at the Northbrook Sports Club in Hainesville, Illinois. Participants at all skill levels joined in a day of fun with 50- and 100-target courses, side event games, a cook-out lunch, a silent auction, and raffle prizes geared toward sporting clays enthusiasts. This year, RMHC-CNI event organizers were especially excited to give guests the opportunity to shoot on a new course at the Club.

To ensure that all participants, volunteers, and staff had a safe and enjoyable experience despite COVID-19 concerns, organizers followed the state’s “Restore Illinois” phased approach for re-opening. Safety measures were in place throughout the outdoor event—everything from onsite wellness checks, masks, individually packaged meals, and frequent sanitizing. To assure social distancing, progressive start times for each squad were implemented, as well as limits on overall attendee capacity.

Keeping everyone safe is nothing new for RMHC-CNI.  After all, wellness and caretaking is what they do best. When a child is sick, Ronald McDonald House Charities understands that the whole family is hurting. Even while the world has been on pause during COVID-19, they’ve continued to serve families throughout the pandemic. So now, more than ever, supporting this organization makes a difference to keep families close together while their children are receiving critical medical care.

Many of the volunteers at the event had worked previous Clays Tournaments. This event seemed to rank as a particular favorite – one that people just didn’t want to miss! To express their appreciation, RMHC-CNI representatives made the rounds throughout the day to thank everyone, offer drinks, unlimited snacks, and food vouchers.

Among the volunteers was Rick Bloniarz from Eastern Shipping Worldwide. Rick was charged with inviting shooters to “step right up to the Double-Trouble challenge” where participants attempted to shoot two rabbit-style clay targets with a single shot.

“It was really a challenging game, but pretty much everyone gave it a try,” Rick explained. “Everyone seemed more than happy to buy a chance and have some fun testing their target skills. In fact, all through the day I saw people taking a few extra dollars out of their pockets and saying, ‘It’s for a great cause.’”

As the tournament wrapped up, everyone was generally grateful that the organizers found a way to safely host one of their favorite events. Plus, it was an especially good feeling to know that the funds raised would allow Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana to continue supporting families as they get better together.

For more about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana
For more about volunteering with RMHC-CNI


Each story in our “Eastern Impact” series spotlights ways in which Eastern team members try to improve our world — hopefully to make it a kinder and happier place — either by engaging with in their community or actively supporting important causes. Whether it’s their daily work at Eastern, or their individual interests, side hustles, hobbies, or passion projects, our team is constantly on the move.