When Lyle DuBois, assistant vice president of employee relations at M.J. Harris Construction Services, Birmingham, Ala., received the news that his son had been diagnosed with leukemia, the CEO of aTeam Ministries was one of the first people to visit his family in the hospital. The meeting was part of the organization’s commitment to offering spiritual, financial and emotional support to children and their families in Alabama’s pediatric cancer community. Since then, DuBois and his family have remained involved in aTeam Ministries, including sitting on the nonprofit’s board along with M.J. Harris CFO Robbie Egan and other members of the Alabama building industry.

M.J. Harris’ support morphed into a company-wide charity golf tournament benefiting aTeam Ministries and the pediatric cancer patients it serves. In the last two years, the company raised more than $75,000, with the latest tournament bringing in more than $40,000 from sponsors and individual donations from 160 golfers.

“Our people really look forward to this event every year, knowing they’re able to give some of their time or take part in the planning, and knowing that they’re making a difference in some small way,” DuBois says. “Our people feed off that pretty well.”

This year, all the golfers and supporters gathered at the first hole to hear the stories of how four brave pediatric cancer survivors, including DuBois’ five-year-old son, overcame the disease—cheering them on as they stepped up to hit a tee shot to start the tournament.“It was very uplifting to see that even in a bad situation, good can come from it,” DuBois says. “There are kids who have fought more than they ever should have to, and the event gave the golfers the awareness that they were playing for something far greater than just the game.”

The tournament also welcomed special guests, including former professional baseball player Wes Helms and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, who spent the afternoon meeting the golfers and cancer survivors.

All 42 teams’ carts were dedicated to supporting a pediatric cancer patient, including children who beat the disease, those who are fighting it and those who lost the battle.

“There are plenty of worthy nonprofits, but what’s interesting about aTeam is the families it helps are Alabama-based,” says M.J. Harris Marketing Coordinator Blair Hayes.“You’re making a difference here at home.” 

aTeam Ministries

  • Founded in 2009 in Homewood, Ala.
  • www.ateamministries.org
  • Supports families within the Alabama pediatric cancer community.
  • Accepts donations and encourages volunteers to be prayer partners, help pack personal care bags, and take meals to families or visit them in the hospital. 

Donna Puglisiis public relations manager of Associated Builders and Contractors. For more information, email puglisi@abc.org or visit www.abc.org/en-us/abc/abcares