Simmons Employee Golf Tournament Raises Record $30,000 for Alton School Children

NSC Hauling contributes with $5,000 donation in memory of Robert Schwegel

The Simmons Employee Foundation’s annual golf tournament raised $30,000 for the Blessings in a Backpack program benefiting the Alton School District. The program will feed approximately 150 students in the free and reduced lunch program on weekends throughout the school year.  The Foundation is operated by employees of Simmons Hanly Conroy. Thanks to the generosity of outside donors and participants, the amount was the most the tournament ever raised in its nine years.

“We are very proud to have raised a record amount this year for children in the Alton School District,” said SEF Director Amy Garrett, also a Shareholder at the Firm. “That would not have been possible without the generous contribution by NSC Hauling in memory of Bud Schwegel.”

NSC Hauling donated $5,000 to the foundation to continue the legacy of Robert “Bud” Schwegel. Schwegel, the popular owner of Schwegel’s Market in Alton, passed away in May. The family requested donations in Bud’s memory go to those in need.

“What the Blessings in a Backpack program does matches Bud’s life 100 percent,” Vern Van Hoy, managing partner of NSC Hauling, wrote in a letter to the foundation. “Bud, over the last five decades, had quietly donated food to thousands of families with needs in the Alton area. He especially had a big heart for children. Donating this money to help feed Alton area children is the best way to honor Bud and continue his legacy in our area.”

Blessings in a Backpack is a national program that discretely provides weekend meals to children who might otherwise go hungry by putting food in their backpacks on Friday afternoons. Nationwide, more than 62,000 children are being fed at 437 schools in 42 states through its programs. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have been attributed to the program.

Simmons Hanly Conroy Attorney Sarah Burns and Alton School District Teacher Natalie Lewis sell 50/50 tickets during the 9th Annual SEF golf tournament.
Simmons Hanly Conroy Attorney Sarah Burns and Alton School District Teacher Natalie Lewis sell 50/50 tickets during the 9th Annual SEF golf tournament.

“We are so appreciative of how much everyone in the community has supported the effort to bring Blessings in a Backpack to the Alton district,” Garrett said. “Thanks to their generosity, Blessings in a Backpack will begin its great work providing for children in need this fall.”

The program should be offered for the next three school years to students. To fully fund the program for 150 students over three years it will cost $40,000. Another $10,000 is needed over the next two years to continue the program, according to Blessings in a Backpack officials.

Sponsorships of children in the Alton program are still available. It costs $80 to feed one child for the entire school year. Anyone who would like to sponsor a child or make additional donations can contact Garrett at [email protected] or 618-693-3104.

For more information about Blessings in a Backpack, visit