Patriot Golf Day Helps Veterans’ Families
In Southern California come out and show your support for our Veterans with Patriot Golf Day events held at two of the following American Golf course locations:
- In Long Beach at Recreation Park Golf Course 9 on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. Find information on the event here.
- In Escondido at The Vineyard at Escondido Sunday September 2, 2012. Find information on the event here.
It’s a chance for golfers nationwide to give back to veterans–who gave their all. Patriot Golf Day, scheduled Aug. 31 through Sept. 3, 2012 (Labor Day Weekend), will give golfers the chance to honor the nation’s veterans disabled or killed in war by raising money for educational scholarships for their children or spouses.
“There are over 240,000 dependents who’ve had somebody killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and over 87 percent do not qualify for federal educational assistance,” said event spokesman Dan Rooney. “We’re committed to honor, inspire, and empower our military families and veterans who gave life and limb to preserve our freedoms.”
Ginger Gilbert Ravella, mother of five children who lost their father, Major Troy Ravella, is one of many the program has helped. “My children represent five out of the thousands upon thousands who have lost parents in war,” she said. “This was a way to shine some light at a time that was completely dark. I’m so grateful.”
The event is sponsored by the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit based near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rooney, a veteran who served as an F-16 pilot, is also an avid golfer, a PGA Professional and member of the USGA. He founded the Folds of Honor Foundation and started Patriot Golf Day in 2007, asking the nation’s golfers to add $1 to their green fees. The event was an immediate success, raising $1.1 million from 3,200 golf courses and facilities. Over the past five years, the annual event has raised approximately $13 million with the proceeds going to provide over 3,500 scholarships.
“Let’s say there is a family who has an American hero who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan,” said Tony Biata, director of the Folds of Honor Foundation and a PGA member. “If that veteran has two children ages 8 and 12, we provide scholarship money to the children so they will have it when they go to college. Or if the veteran’s spouse needs money to go to college, we provide that. These are families who have suffered a tragedy,” he added. “We’re trying to provide the kind of help to brighten their lives.”
Biata said if a participating course has its event rained out, an alternate date can be set. Golf courses can also tailor an event virtually any way they want. Some private courses have their membership participate. “Or for example, a golf course could do a tournament, get a sponsorship, or have a couples’ night,” Biata explained.
Participating golf pros include PGA members Rickie Fowler, Bo Van Pelt, Gary Woodland, Tom Pernice, Jr.and more. Those wishing to participate may visit www.foldsofhonor.org for information. To register a golf course for the event, follow the link provided on the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page at the website www.patriotgolfday.com.
If you wish to play to help raise money, you can find a list of participating golf courses by going to www.playgolfamerica.com under “Play Programs” and clicking on Patriot Golf Day. Choose a state under “Find a Golf Course” and hit the search button.
“Patriot Golf Day provides healing and hope,” Rooney said. “Please join us.”
Donations may be mailed to the Folds of Honor Foundation, 5800 N. Patriot Drive, Owasso, OK, 74055, or call (918) 274-4700.