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Stew Milne/AP

This Labor Day, Play Golf to Support Families of American Veterans

September 04, 2009 07:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The Folds of Honor Foundation holds its annual fundraiser, Patriot Golf Day, to provide education scholarships for the spouses and children of American veterans.

Using Golf to Make a Difference

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When Dan Rooney, a fighter pilot who served three tours in Iraq, was inspired to make a difference in the lives of our veterans’ families, he “immediately thought of golf,” Teddy Greenstein writes in the Chicago Tribune. 

It surprised no one that Rooney would seek to pair the game of golf with an effort to assist service members’ families. Rooney is a pro golfer on the PGA Tour and as he described in an op-ed piece in the New York Post, he’s also an F-16 fighter pilot in the Air National Guard.

Rooney’s inspiration first took the form of a golf tournament to benefit Michigan families that had lost loved ones in the war. The event went national a year later and Patriot Golf Day was born.

On Labor Day weekend, golfers are asked to pay an extra dollar with their greens’ fees. This money goes to Rooney’s Folds of Honor Foundation (FHF), a nonprofit organization that “provides post-secondary educational scholarships to the spouses and children of service members disabled or killed as a result of their military service to our great nation,” according to the FHF Web site. 

"Turn Down the Lights"

More than 3,800 golf courses participated in 2008’s Patriot Golf Day, resulting in donations of nearly $2 million and more than 550 scholarships, the Patriot Golf Day Web site reports.

In the Post, Rooney wrote about turning down the lights in his cockpit to observe the awe-inspiring sight of millions of stars from 32,000 feet. In urging participation in this year’s Patriot Golf Day, Rooney invites golfers to take a moment to "turn down the lights" in their lives, and think of the “nearly 85,000 spouses and children who've had a family member killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Visit Play Golf America to find a participating golf course in your area.

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