Sober Corps’ Inaugural “12 Holes for 12 Steps” a Great Success

On Thursday, September 22, Sober Corps held the first ever 12-hole golf tournament. The event, deemed “12 Holes for 12 Steps,” succeeded in raising both funds and awareness for Sober Corps’ program. The event raised over $6,000.  The money goes directly to Sober Corps’ mission of providing mentorship and life skills training to men and women in their first year of recovery. The tournament began at 2:00 p.m. with a shotgun start. By 5:30 p.m. the golfers assembled in the clubhouse for a dinner and program. The program included special guest speaker, Julio Becquer, one of the original Minnesota Twins. The winning team was also announced: Avantstar!

The tournament would not have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors.

Dinner Sponsor: Ames Construction

Beverage Cart Sponsor: Ziegler CAT

Golf Cart Sponsor: MyPillow

Creative Sponsor: Neuger Communications Group

Hole Sponsors: Plehal Blacktopping, Gethsemane Episcopal Church of Minneapolis, St. Stephens Episcopal Church of Edina, Anderson Custom Homes, Steve & Nancy Krenz, Mark & Brooks Mahoney, Association of General Contractors of Minnesota, NuWay House, Bituminous Roadways and Ames Construction

Board Members Rick Jacobsen, Fred Myers and SteveKrenz with several golfers at registration

Board Member, Steve Krenz, announcing the rules of the 12-hole tournament

Golfers on the course


The team from Ziegler CAT.


Fred Myers discussing Sober Corps’ mission and the meaning of the “12” caps


Special guest speaker, Julio Becquer, an original Minnesota Twin


Sober Corps Gives New Spin to Golf Fundraisers

Sober Corps, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting recovery programs by providing life-skill mentors to help people through their first years of freedom from chemical addiction, is putting a new spin on golf fundraisers. The organization announced today that it is hosting the inaugural “12 Holes for 12 Steps” golf event to benefit Sober Corps. Fred Myers, president of Sober Corps, said, “We are extremely excited about this tournament. Golf events are a terrific way to raise money and awareness for great causes like Sober Corps. We look to help people recover to a better life while recovering from chemical dependency and a destructive life.”

Golf events to benefit nonprofits are notorious for dragging on for hours. Sober Corps felt that a 12-hole scramble tournament would work better with participants’ schedules while honoring the importance of the 12-step process associated with chemical dependency recovery programs. “This is all about raising funds for a great organization and having fun doing so,” said Myers. The tournament will be held at Braemar Golf Course in Edina, Minn., on Thursday, September 22. “We will be playing a 12-hole scramble event with a twist – each foursome will be playing nine holes and will play three of the nine holes a second time and record only their best scores on those three holes,” he commented. “Because everyone deserves a second chance,” he added with a glint in his eye.

Sober Corps began operations in late 2007. Recognizing that a recovering alcoholic’s or addict’s journey to reintegrate into society is difficult – oftentimes with little hope and no network of support – Sober Corps focuses on reducing irresponsible chemical use and negative behavior with serious consequences, such as drunk driving. With nearly 30 volunteer mentors on its roster, Sober Corps promotes life-skills training and networking to strengthen the recovery process. Services are provided at no cost to participants in the program.

The “12 Holes for 12 Steps” event is designed to raise funds for the general operating support of Sober Corps. “We are run extremely lean as an organization,” Myers explained, “but the positive impact on the community and the individuals we serve is well beyond the dollars we spend. Time and time again we hear firsthand from our program participants and their families just how significant their relationship with Sober Corps is. We are an organization that is making a real impact on the health and well being of our community.”

For more information about Sober Corps or to register for the “12 Holes for 12 Steps” golf event, visit the Events section of our website or call Stephanie Malon-Rufi at 612.767.4360.

Sober Corps Featured in Finance & Commerce

An article by Finance & Commerce reporter Brian Johnson titled “Helping others stay sober in the construction industry” tells the story of Sober Corps’ head-on approach to tackling addiction. The piece features quotes from founder Fred Myers and gives a behind-the-scenes peek at the momentum of support that’s building for the Sober Corps mission to help people achieve their first year of freedom from chemical addiction through life-skills mentorship, training and networking.

Sober Corps Hosts Second Annual Basketball Tournament

Sober Corps held its Second Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on Saturday, February 12, 2011. This year’s tournament winner is the team from Ziegler, Inc., photographed below with our President, Fred Myers.

2011 Basketball Tournament Winners

2011 Sober Corps Basketball Tournament Winners with President Fred Myers (second from the left).

Sober Corps Launches “12 on the 12th”

What if thousands of individuals donated $12 each month? Just think of the change that could be made!

When you donate $12 on the 12th of each month to Sober Corps, you know that the money is going to a valuable cause. It will be used to support people in their recovery so that they increase their chances of staying sober and learn how to be a productive members of society. Learn more.

Sober Corps Announces Fall Concert in Honor of National Recovery Month

Sober Corps has teamed up with the musical band No Excuses to celebrate the National Month of Recovery this September with an inspiring concert. No Excuses produces original music surrounding growth, renewal and recovery.  The event will be on September 25 at the Como Park Lakeside Pavilion.

Sober Corps Announces First Annual Basketball Tournament

On February 27, Sober Corps will hold a 3-on-3 tournament in the Malik Sealy “Gym of Dreams,” located inside Gethsemane Episcopal Church’s Parish Hall. Through the tournament, Sober Corps hopes to put a focus on the need to curtail drunk driving. Malik, who played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, was killed by a drunk driver in a head-on collision in May of 2000. The gymnasium was refurbished and dedicated to Malik by the Timberwolves in 2001.

Sober Corps Receives $10,000 Challenge Grant from Hennepin County

Sober Corps will receive a $10,000 Challenge grant from Hennepin County. The grant comes though their outreach and volunteer division. The intention of the grant is to help Sober Corps expand its awareness in the Twin Cities in hopes of attracting more program participants, volunteers and funders. Sober Corps has an aggressive $100,000 budget in 2010 and intends on using this Hennepin County grant to leverage more support. You can help Sober Corps meet the challenge through a donation.

Sober Corps Mentor Relationship Featured in Downtown Journal

A recent article by Downtown Journal reporter Brian Voerding explains the mission of Sober Corps and highlights the relationship of Mike, a Sober Corps participant, and his mentor Tom Regnier. The article, titled “Ready for recovery: Sober Corps matches recovering alcoholics with mentors to help them stay on track” can be found here.

Myers Launches Sober Corps

An article by Brian Johnson in an October 2007 edition of Finance & Commerce tells the story of Sober Corps’ beginning. Although the article has now been archived, the text can be read below.

Former Caterpillar Tractor Co. executive launches ‘Sober Corps’ in Minneapolis.

Fred Myers is working on another good cause with a little help from his construction friends. Myers, a tireless former Caterpillar Tractor Co. executive and founder of Rebuild Resources, is spearheading a new faith-based effort to help recovering alcoholics stay sober and lead productive lives.

Known as “Sober Corps,” the initiative is all about prevention and giving hope to people in recovery, Myers said. He aims to connect at-risk recovering alcoholics with mentors who can offer guidance, support and advice. “We want to get a template set up here on how you select candidates, screen them, motivate them and train the mentors,” explained Myers, who plans to officially launch the program Oct. 7 at Gethsemane Church in downtown Minneapolis. A mentor could be “like the dad or brother that these people never had,” he added. The ultimate goal is to “get to these guys before they land in prison.”

Myers, who loves to talk about “building lives, not prisons,” rattled off statistics that show the connection between addiction and incarceration. Eighty percent of prison inmates have issues with chemical dependency, he noted. And while numerous recovery programs exist for prison inmates and ex-offenders, Myers said there’s a dire need for assistance that might keep people from landing behind bars in the first place. That’s where Sober Corps fits in. It would not compete with Alcoholics Anonymous or any other program. Rather, it would provide a network of mentors, workshops and resources designed to “get someone in your corner and help you stay sober,” Myers said. Workshops could cover anything from finding gainful employment to re-establishing family relationships.

Myers gushed about his vision last week while showing off recent improvements at Gethsemane Church. The 151-year-old church at 905 Fourth St. in Minneapolis will host Sober Corps events. In return, Myers and some of his friends agreed to fix up some long-vacant spaces in church spaces that used to house diocese offices and classrooms. The Plumbers Local 15 union donated plumbing fixtures for the project, and union president Tom Daugherty provided the labor. Daugherty said some of the toilets in the basement dated back to 1905; he replaced them with modern, water-efficient models. Others chipped in with free, or significantly reduced-cost, labor and materials for other projects.

In recent days, crews have painted, repaired crumbling walls, re-plastered ceilings and put in new wiring in the basement space. Hidden away in the belly of the basement is a basketball court dedicated to the memory of former Minnesota Timberwolves player Malik Sealy. A scene from Sealy’s playing days is depicted on one of the walls. Myers believes it’s fitting that a Sober Corps basketball team may someday race up and down the floor on a court that honors Sealy, who died seven years ago when a drunk driver crashed into his vehicle.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Myers served in the Korean War and later held management positions with Caterpillar and Ziegler Inc. After leaving the corporate world, he founded Rebuild Resources, which provides job training and life skills for chemically dependent young people. In 2006, he founded the American Academy Initiative, which envisions similar offerings on self-contained campuses.

Sober Corps is an offshoot of American Academy Initiative. Myers hopes to “get the ball rolling” on Sober Corps with $35,000 in seed money. He’s about halfway there. Long-term, he sees a volunteer-based organization that could run on less than $100,000 a year and could be replicated in other cities. People with connections to the Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota, the local Women in Construction group and other construction organizations have expressed interest in getting involved with Sober Corps, Myers said.

Myers may not change the world overnight. In fact, he will consider Sober Corps a success if it can help even one person. “But if it can work for one guy,” he added, “it can work for hundreds of guys. It starts small, but it has the potential to grow. I’ll tell you one thing — there is a need for this everywhere.”