Folds of Honor, PGA REACH Combine Forces
Through its Patriot Golf Day celebration, Folds of Honor has been able to provide educational scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans. As an arm of PGA REACH — the PGA of America’s charitable Foundation — PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everwhere) has worked to give military populations more access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf.
Beginning in 2020, these two worthy golf-and-veteran-related organizations will work together to expand their annual fundraising efforts.
Beginning this year, Patriot Golf Day will move to Memorial Day Weekend (May 22 – 25) to coincide with the national remembrance of fallen service members. Courses, however, will accommodate Patriot Golf Day events as their schedules permit.
“We are so impressed by the outpouring of support that the golf community has consistently shown for Folds of Honor over the last 13 years,” said Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, CEO and founder of Folds of Honor and a PGA Member. “Working closer with PGA REACH, we can now offer opportunities and service that benefit both our Veterans through PGA HOPE and their families through educational scholarships funded by Patriot Golf Day. I am very proud to stand with my fellow PGA Professionals and take this next step together with PGA HOPE, to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”
Patriot Golf Day began as a grassroots fundraising initiative over Labor Day Weekend in 2007, with golfers nationwide encouraged to add an extra dollar to their green fees to fund Folds of Honor scholarships. Over the last 13 years, the effort has grown to encompass a variety of fundraising events, tournaments and golf marathons led by PGA Professionals and golfers across America, resulting in nearly 24,500 scholarships to benefit Folds of Honor—in all 50 states and 41 PGA Sections.
PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. The program includes a developmental six-to-eight-week curriculum, taught by PGA Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency. In 2019, PGA HOPE programming impacted 2,500 Veterans nationwide.
“We couldn’t be prouder of the work that PGA Professionals have done through PGA HOPE, utilizing the game of golf as a form of therapy and rehabilitation for Veterans,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “By partnering with Folds of Honor and Patriot Golf Day, we can expand our footprint within the families of those we serve through golf. This partnership is a natural extension of our long-standing mission to support our nation’s heroes.”
In support of Patriot Golf Day, Jack Nicklaus — a PGA REACH Trustee — has donated design services for the redesign of Grand Haven (Mich.) Golf Club. Located just a few hundred yards from Lake Michigan, Grand Haven was the site of the first Patriot Golf Day, and in an effort led by Mr. Nicklaus, Nicklaus Design and Lt. Colonel Rooney, it is being reimagined to American Dunes Golf Club. Proceeds from American Dunes will benefit Folds of Honor, and the course will also serve as a home and respite for PGA HOPE participants.
“I never had the privilege to serve our great nation, but I am passionate and committed to any initiative that allows us to recognize, assist and support the men and women of our military, who have sacrificed so much for our freedom,” said Mr. Nicklaus. “When we can use the game of golf as the vehicle to give back, it becomes even more meaningful to me. That’s why I feel blessed and honored to partner with great organizations like Folds of Honor and PGA REACH.”
Golf properties across the country can get involved in Patriot Golf Day by registering at PatriotGolfDay.org. Non-golfers can also participate by donating to the mission at FoldsofHonor.org or to PGA REACH at PGAREACH.org .
About Folds of Honor
Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. Our educational scholarships support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Lt Col Dan Rooney, a PGA member and F-16 fighter pilot currently stationed at Tyndall AFB Florida as a member of 301st Fighter Squadron who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded more than 24,500 scholarships in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, including more than 4,500 in 2019 alone. For more information or to donate in support of a Folds of Honor scholarship, visit foldsofhonor.org.
About PGA REACH
PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf. For more information on PGA REACH, visit PGAREACH.org, follow @PGAREACH on Twitter, and find us on Facebook.