Thanks to the outpouring of support from the local community, the event raised $170,000, bringing the total amount raised during the past nine years to $1,235,000. Proceeds will once again benefit local heroes served by six Birdies for the Brave military homefront charities including Military Warriors Support Foundation; Operation Shower; Special Operations Warrior Foundation; Green Beret Foundation; Navy Seal Foundation; and K9s For Warriors. Since 2010, funds have enabled the Lowcountry Foundation to sponsor 19 K9s For Warriors service canines for veterans with PTSD and TBI; provide four college scholarships to surviving children of Special Operations soldiers; donate five mortgage-free homes to combat-wounded veterans and their families; and host two Operation Shower group baby showers for military moms-to-be whose spouses are deployed.
The donation check was presented to Birdies for the Brave during a ceremony at TPC Sawgrass on July 24 following a golf outing on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Lowcountry Foundation representatives, all of whom are volunteers, wore their signature red shirts – which have become a symbol of veteran support and military pride in the Lowcountry.
“Like Birdies for the Brave, the Lowcountry Foundation for Wounded Military Heroes will be forever in debt to the courageous 1% of men and women who are willing to sacrifice so much to ensure the safety and freedom of us all,” said Lowcountry Foundation Co-Founder and CEO Russ Spicer. “We are grateful for the opportunity to give back to these veterans through the Wounded Heroes Golf Classic, and appreciate the passion, generosity and compassion of so many caring people in the Lowcountry community who helped make our ninth annual Wounded Heroes Golf Classic an overwhelming success.”
The Golf Classic kicked off with an evening volunteer and community appreciation reception featuring live and silent auctions, guest speakers and live music by Navy veteran and recording artist Dave Bray. Opening ceremonies for the golf tournament were conducted at both clubs and included a variety of military pageantry including the presentation of the colors and the singing of the national anthem. In addition, members from the Special Forces Association Parachute Team conducted tandem parachute jumps with large American Flags at both courses. The 18-hole tournament featured 220 golfers and 53 wounded heroes, the most participants of any event to date. A post-golf awards dinner followed play, where golfers had the chance to mingle with homefront charity representatives and hear from a variety of guest speakers. Special guests at the event included Lieutenant Colonel Ken Dwyer, Garrison Commander at Hunter Army Airfield, and General Ann Dunwoody, the Army’s first female Four Star General.
“Thank you for the tremendous hospitality that you extended to all Lowcountry veterans during the Wounded Heroes Golf Classic. What an amazing event for an extraordinary cause,” said Alex Gallegos LTC, U.S. Army Retired. “We appreciate all that the Lowcountry Foundation for Wounded Military Heroes and Birdies for the Brave do for our service members and their families, and we appreciate your commitment to never forget!”
The Lowcountry Foundation for Wounded Military Heroes was created to address the growing need to help service members returning home from combat with serious injuries and disabilities re-integrate into civilian life. The all-volunteer organization encompasses a six-person Board of Directors, 20 committee leaders, and more than 180 passionate, dedicated volunteers. The 10th Annual Wounded Heroes Golf Classic will be held on May 18, 2020.
For more information on the Lowcountry Foundation for Wounded Military Heroes, visit www.LFWMH.org. For more information on Birdies for the Brave, please visit www.birdiesforthebrave.org or follow them on Facebook.