OWASSO, Okla. -- In honor of Veterans Day this week, the Folds of Honor Foundation is proud to announce its preliminary fundraising numbers from Patriot Golf Day. Through the support of PGA Professionals and United States Golf Association (USGA) Members, Patriot Golf Day events have already raised a record amount of more than $3.2 million (as of Nov. 4) to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation, bringing the five-year total to more than $12 million. Held over Labor Day Weekend, the Fifth Annual Patriot Golf Day gave golfers an opportunity to honor our American heroes and their families by making donations at participating golf facilities nationwide.
The inaugural Patriot Golf Day was held Sept. 1, 2007, and resulted in donations of more than $1.1 million. In 2010, Patriot Golf Day donations totaled $3.2 million and this year's donations have already exceeded that total with facilities continuing to report and host fundraising events throughout the end of the year.
Patriot Golf Day, jointly supported by The PGA of America and the USGA, is the primary fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation. More than 2,200 educational scholarships have been awarded by Folds of Honor since its inception in 2007.
"PGA Professionals and USGA Members continue to be an inspiration with their unwavering support of our American military and the Folds of Honor Foundation," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "The PGA of America considers it a privilege to use the game of golf to honor the sacrifice of those who daily defend our freedom."
Patriot Golf Day was originated by Major Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional, USGA Member and former F-16 military pilot from Broken Arrow, Okla., who has served three tours of duty in Iraq. During Labor Day Weekend at participating courses nationwide, golfers were asked to donate at least $1 for each round of golf. Non-golfers participated by making a donation to the foundation at FoldsofHonor.org. More than 4,500 PGA facilities registered to host Patriot Golf Day activities this year.
President George W. Bush (43) served as Honorary Chairman of Patriot Golf Day Weekend for the second consecutive year and helped "kick-off" the weekend festivities by playing a round of golf with Major Rooney, Wronowski, veteran amputee Major Ed Pulido and FOX & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, Sept. 1, at Dallas National Golf Club (Texas).
"We continue to be awed by the generosity of the golf community when it comes to educating the legacy of our military service men and women who sacrificed life and limb to protect this great nation," Rooney said. "Education is vital for the next generation, and I couldn't be more humbled to be able to make it a possibility for military families."
Mission partners of Patriot Golf Day include Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser, Titleist, Pinnacle, AHEAD Inc., Bushnell, Golf Channel, POLO GOLF, Golf Pride, Lifelock, QuikTrip, Volvo Rents and Pima Direct. To find out more information about these products and their support of Patriot Golf Day, go to FoldsofHonor.org.
As of August 1, 2011, 250,000 dependents have been affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of these, 87 percent do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance. Individuals interested in contributing to the Folds of Honor, and those applying for scholarships should go to FoldsofHonor.org.
About the Folds of Honor Foundation
Major Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional, USGA member and former F-16 military pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, founded the Folds of Honor Foundation in 2007 following his second of three tours of duty in Iraq. While a passenger on a commercial flight, Major Rooney witnessed an event that would profoundly change his life. As the plane landed, the pilot announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have an American hero on board - Corporal Brock Bucklin - and his twin brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq. As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Corporal Bucklin's family receives him in his final homecoming." Major Rooney watched through the window of the plane as the flag-draped casket was lowered. He saw a family waiting for Brock, and a little four-year old boy waiting for his father. This tragic homecoming inspired Major Rooney to create the Folds of Honor Foundation.