Rams Tee Off for March of Dimes

Posted May 22, 2012

By: Evan Glantz, special to

Executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff pointed out that the stormy weather at last year’s Greater Missouri March of Dimes Challenge for Champions may have been a sign of things to come for the St. Louis Rams during the football season. Fast forward to 2012 and if Monday at Boone Valley Golf Club was any indication of what’s to come, Demoff and the Rams are in for some bright, sunny days ahead.

“I think we’ve got the ideal weather day, so that’s a start,” Demoff said.

But the day was about more than sunshine and sinking putts.

“The ideal day is raising awareness for everybody who’s participating (in the tournament),” Demoff said. “We have a lot of generous companies who participate in this challenge. We have a lot of excited players, bringing them together, trying to find a solution for premature birth and research funding for the March of Dimes.”

Since 2010, the Rams and March of Dimes have teamed together to host the Challenge for Champions golf tournament. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the March of Dimes so the organization can help ensure the health of all babies – especially those born prematurely. This is the factor that caused Demoff to take a lead role in the partnership.

“It just so happens Kevin did experience prematurity in his family,” Missouri March of Dimes State Director Mary Elizabeth Grimes said. “So this is not only something the Rams are doing from the standpoint of supporting a good cause. We have what we call a ‘mission parent’ that’s associated with the organization and understands what it’s all about.”

For his part, Demoff not only sees the personal benefits of being involved with March of Dimes, but the value of having the entire Rams organization involved as well.

“I’ve got a five-year old and a three-year old who were both born early,” Demoff said. “So I think any young parent with young children can identify with the March of Dimes and the mission to have healthy babies and to give babies a great jump start on life. We’ve got a lot of young players who are just entering that stage of their lives with young families, and this is a great cause they can relate to as well.”

Cornerback Bradley Fletcher is one of the players enjoying life as a new dad. The responsibility and new role has helped him see the importance of donating time and effort to organizations such as March of Dimes.

“(March of Dimes) informs the mothers of the children on birth defects and the way they should carry themselves during pregnancy – ways to avoid problems they could have during pregnancy. Organizations like this keep babies healthier,” Fletcher said.

The Challenge for Champions was co-chaired by Demoff and Bob O’Loughlin, chairman of March of Dimes and chief executive officer of Lodging Hospitality Management. O’Loughlin echoed the sentiments shared by many others involved in the tournament.

“Anything we can do in research to help out, and help mothers get to full term is what March of Dimes is all about,” he said. “The main thing is to make everybody aware of the cause, that’s the first thing. And second is to have a good time and enjoy a round of golf.”

On Monday, fans, players, coaches, and executives worked together to benefit a good cause. To Grimes, that is what makes a successful tournament.

“At the end of the day, we want everybody to say that this is a wonderful experience, and in addition to all the golf, they supported a great cause,” she said.