Over a decade ago, I founded Veterans Care Coordination to assist veterans and their families. Since then, I have remained committed to serving the community by establishing several organizations that support various philanthropic initiatives. As a sports enthusiast and a sponsored pickleball player, I decided to combine my passion for sports and philanthropy. That’s when I became involved by helping organize the Lake Forest Community Classic Golf Tournament. Over the past six years, I am proud to state that the tournament has raised over $100,000 for various charities in our community.


The Lake Forest Charity Classic has recently merged with the Frankie G Memorial Golf Tournament to form the Frankie G Charity Classic. This change honors Frank Guerrettaz, a beloved, long-time member of Lake Forest who passed away due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2020. Frank was well-liked by everyone and known for his witty one-liners, or “Frank’isms.” He was family-oriented, a successful businessman, and, unfortunately, a die-hard Cubs fan. Frank enjoyed playing golf and sipping on a glass of scotch, but above all, he valued his family the most. Combining the two tournaments allows us to extend our reach and impact on the community. According to Geoff Poli, the visionary behind the Charity Classic, “With the help of Frankie’s friends and family, we are aiming to make our largest donation since the inception of the Charity Classic.” The personal connection to Frank makes this year’s event especially meaningful.


In 2022, I introduced an open-play pickleball game to kickstart a new segment of the golf tournament. Pickleball has gained popularity across the United States, appealing to players of all ages and skill levels. In 2023, the event showcased exceptional talent from the St. Louis area, attracting a large number of spectators who generously donated to watch the games and contribute to the event’s success. The pickleball tournament alone raised over $3,000 and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. 


Last year’s Charity Classic fundraiser was tremendously successful, raising over $20,000 in donations. This year, we see pickleball as a major revenue source, with top teaching pros and players offering clinics in exchange for charitable contributions. Last year, we had 50 attendees at the Mixed Doubles open event, and we’re expecting over 100 this year. Spectators often donate to the charity, increasing our impact. My pickleball partner, Christine Edwards, and I placed third in last year’s Mixed Doubles tournament, and donated our winnings to The Child Advocacy Center.


This year’s fundraiser will take place on July 19th and 20th, with all proceeds supporting The St. Louis Crisis Nursery Center, which provides a safe haven for nearly 4,000 children a year, ages birth through 12, whose families face emergencies such as illness, homelessness, domestic violence, or overwhelming parental stress.


If you’re seeking a fun and meaningful way to give back to the community, the Frankie G Charity Classic this July is the perfect opportunity. This annual event offers a chance to enjoy friendly competition, live music, and even improve your pickleball skills with clinics from professional players. It’s not just about having fun and meeting new people—it’s also a chance to make a positive impact by supporting a charitable cause. Please reach out if you’re interested in participating, sponsoring, or donating. We would be more than happy to provide you with more information on how you can get involved.

About Kyle Laramie, Founder & CEO

Kyle founded Veterans Care Coordination in April 2011. As its founder and CEO of VCC, Kyle is driven by the memory of his grandfather, a World War II Veteran who unnecessarily missed out on essential VA benefits because Kyle’s family wasn’t aware of available opportunities. In recognition of his impact in leadership, Kyle was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list and St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s “100 St. Louisans to Know” in 2014. VCC was named a St. Louis Small Business Monthly “Top 20” small business and a finalist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch Top Workplace (2015-2022), St. Louis Business Journal Best Place to Work (2019 & 2022), and the Arcus Awards (2014). The team has served more than 14,000 Veteran clients and their families. Kyle frequently speaks on Veterans’ benefits, addressing conferences such as the Home Care Association of America and Decision Health. He is passionate about giving back and has built a charitable-minded organization that supports various philanthropic efforts.