Merchants Bonding Company Foundation’s 2020 Charity Golf Classic to Focus on The Vision to Learn Pr

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Merchants Bonding Company Foundation’s 2020 Charity Golf Classic
to Focus on The Vision to Learn Program

Vision to Learn Program is Sponsored by Variety – the Children’s Charity
and United Way of Central Iowa

WEST DES MOINES (October 22, 2019) - Merchants Bonding Company Foundation’s, Bill Warner Sr. Memorial Charity Golf Classic will proudly raise money for the Vision to Learn program sponsored by Variety - the Children’s Charity of Iowa and United Way of Central Iowa. “We are excited to support the program,” said Bill Warner Jr., COO and Board Secretary for Merchants Bonding Company. “The goal of giving every child a chance to succeed in school and in life resonates with all of our associates. Many of us understand the challenges for parents whose children need glasses.”

The sixth Bill Warner Sr. Memorial Charity Golf Classic will be held Monday, September 21, 2020, at both Wakonda and Glen Oaks Country Clubs to accommodate the growing number of participants. “We strive to make it a first-class event, worthy of the more than 200 golfers and the additional reception guests,” said Vice President of Marketing, Therese Wielage.

The bi-annual event began in 2010 and in the five tournaments since, has raised more than $600,000 for Iowa charities. Merchants’ charity golf classic began in memory of Bill Warner Sr. who was a leader in the surety industry. Surety professionals from 26 states travel to Des Moines and join local golfers to help raise money. “We have been humbled and honored by the response,” said Larry Taylor, chairman of the board and president of Merchants. “Not only does it help the charity, but it gives our associates and our industry a great chance to give back. We are also delighted to show Des Moines our little-known industry’s spirit of giving and showcase Des Moines to people from across the country.”

Merchants Bonding Company was founded in Des Moines in 1933 and is led by fourth-generation family members. Merchants Bonding is among the top 15 surety companies in the United States with an A.M. Best Rating of “A” excellent or better for 62 consecutive years. Merchants Bonding corporate offices are in West Des Moines, Iowa and it has offices in the cities of Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Carlsbad, and Tampa.

About the Vision to Learn Program
One in five kids will need glasses to see the board, read a book, or participate in class. Unfortunately, in low-income communities across the United States, 95% of kids who need glasses, about 2 million children, do not have them, according to researchers at UCLA. The Vision To Learn program was founded in 2017 in Iowa with a goal—to give every child a chance to succeed in school and in life. The program solves the problem by bringing the glasses directly to the kids at schools or community organizations. Mobile clinics, staffed with trained eye care professionals, bring needed services directly to the greater Des Moines community.
The Vision To Learn program’s impact has been documented in a groundbreaking study by researchers at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital, first made public in 2014. That study was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, the Maternal and Child Health Journal, on December 9, 2015. Researchers analyzed students’ math and reading scores in the years before and after receiving glasses from Vision To Learn. The results were uniformly positive:
• Grades improved for kids who receive glasses, students were more confident and engaged more in the classroom; and the classroom environment improved for all students as teachers were not distracted by those kids who were struggling to see.
• While math grades had been trending down, all students’ grades started to improve after receiving glasses.
• Boys’ math grades were particularly impacted, improving by eight percentage points.
• Researchers found grades improved for all students who received glasses.

For more information on the Vision to Learn program visit
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Media Contacts:

Therese Wielage, VP Marketing                                     Sheri McMichael

Merchants Bonding Company                                        Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa

515-558-8721                                                                  515-243-4660                                                        


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