By Lydia Brantley, National Oilwell Varco
On 9-10 April, employees of oil and gas companies from around Houston will suit up and play ball in the 7th Annual Derricks & Diamonds Charity Softball Tournament benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Center and Charity Care Program and the Snowdrop Foundation.
Hosted by National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Schlumberger, Derricks & Diamonds unites the oil and gas industry to support a greater cause: improving the lives and care of children with cancer. IADC has also committed to another year of tournament sponsorship for 2011.
Since its inception in 2005, Derricks & Diamonds has grown into one of the most successful community events benefiting Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Charity Care Program. Texas Children’s Cancer Center serves patients from 35 states and 26 countries regardless of their ability to pay. 50% or more of the patients treated at the Cancer Center receive financial support through the Charity Care Program, which provides financial assistance to under- or uninsured patients who may receive healthcare services free of charge or at discounted rates.
Over the past six years, more than 100 oil and gas companies have participated in the tournament to raise nearly $850,000 in the fight against pediatric cancer.
“The growing success of Derricks & Diamonds is a testament to the integrity of our industry to reinvest in the communities in which we do business,” said Pete Miller, chairman, president and CEO of NOV. “It offers the unique opportunity to witness what is possible when we unite to serve a greater cause.”
Last year’s tournament was the most successful to date, with over 50 teams and 63 companies participating in the event to raise over $215,000 in donations. Tournament organizers say they are on track to surpass last year’s numbers. “I am sure that with more of the service industry involved and working together, we can make Derricks & Diamonds an even bigger success in the future,” said Andrew Gould, chairman and CEO of Schlumberger.
Derricks & Diamonds’ financial success depends on the generosity of companies throughout the oil and gas industry. For every $5,000 donated to the Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Charity Care Program, a company receives a spot for one co-ed team to participate in the tournament, in addition to other publicity benefits. Tournament hosts NOV and Schlumberger shoulder the event’s operating costs to ensure every dollar donated goes directly to Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Charity Care Program. Proceeds from the associated raffle and silent auction benefit the Snowdrop Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research and provides academic college scholarships for current and former cancer patients.
On 9-10 April, 60 teams will play in a two-day round robin tournament at Big League Dreams Sports Park in League City, Texas, but Derricks & Diamonds is about much more than softball. Six participating “spirit teams,” comprised of friends and families of current or past Texas Children’s Hospital patients, and bat boys and bat girls, former patients assigned to each team, offer a tacit reminder of the true spirit of the event.
“Derricks & Diamonds is an event unlike any other,” said Ryan Wildberger, tournament director, “in that it allows the industry to compete against each other on the softball diamond while teaming up together to raise money to support young patients at Texas Children’s and fight pediatric cancer.”