TUCSON, Ariz. --
At the third annual Patriot Golf Day held here Sept. 10 a banner at Ventana Canyon Country Club in northwest Tucson welcomed golfers and promised them the day's outing would be "The most heroic round you've ever played."
Nearly 200 Tucson service and community members turned out to raise an estimated $50,000 for charities that benefit military families.
"This event serves two purposes," said Lt. Col. Doug Hadley, a military representative on the tournament committee and an F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot with the 162nd Fighter Wing. "First, it raises funds for the Folds of Honor Foundation and the Jimmy Jet Foundation, and second, it brings together local enlisted service members for a fully-sponsored day of golf. "
Patriot Golf Day is the primary fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to the children and spouses of military service members disabled or killed while serving. While it is a national organization, the funds raised in Tucson are set aside to benefit local students.
"We're very fortunate to be successful in two areas - hosting the enlisted people for a round of golf and raising money for Folds of Honor," said Paul Adamsbaum, tournament chair for the country club. "Last year we raised $32,000 for Folds of Honor. We were the 14th largest donor to the foundation in the county. We're very proud to be able to increase our donation this year."
The second local organization to benefit is the Jimmy Jet Foundation - a non-profit Arizona corporation serving 162nd Fighter Wing members, their families and the Tucson community.
The annual event raises $2,000 for Jimmy Jet which assists unit and community members in need, or more specifically, those who suffer financial setbacks due to unforeseen events in their lives. Other foundation services include: scholarships for active and retired members and their dependents, care and assistance to hospitalized members of the community, programs for charitable purposes, and home renovations and transportation assistance for members and their families in need.
According to Adamsbaum, the motivation for taking on a Patriot Golf Day event comes from the committee's admiration for the sacrifices military families make for their country.
"Everyone on our committee works very hard to make this happen and on the day of the event it warms our hearts to interact with the service members who come out to play. We also enjoy getting to meet the scholarship recipients and their families."
In all, the tournament hosted about 100 enlisted, 30 officers, and 35 community members. Officers and civilian guests paid to play the immaculate course, but the enlisted were invited to play for free.
"After helping Folds of Honor and Jimmy Jet, we wanted to say 'Thank you' to our local Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen, especially the enlisted members," said Adamsbaum.
"None of this would be possible without the generosity of the club members here and our corporate sponsors. We really appreciate them," said Hadley.
For more on the Folds of Honor Foundation, visit www.foldsofhonor.org