We are pleased to inform you that Tee It Up for the Troops is now enrolled in Thrivent Choice, a platform for Thrivent members to have a financial impact on the causes and nonprofits they care about. If you or someone you know one are one of Thrivent’s more than 2.3 million members, we would certainly appreciate you choosing to direct Choice Dollars and/or your personal donations to Tee It Up for the Troops!
Warfighter Sports, a division of Disabled Sports USA and a long-time partner of Tee It Up for the Troops, has provided over 12,000 wounded warriors and families with opportunities to participate in more than 50 different sports since 2003 free of charge.
#SkiSpec, which is hosted by Disabled Sports USA at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado is one of the nation’s largest winter sports festivals for people with disabilities. The programs offered during this week-long event include learn to ski and snowboard lessons, a week-long race camp, nordic skiing, sled hockey and more. This year more than 100 wounded military veterans, service members, family and military medical staff from the U.S. and Great Britain participated!
Tee It Up for the Troops President, Tim Wegscheid, had this to say about #SkiSpec 2018:
“It was a great honor to spend time this week with many severely wounded combat veterans as they received ski instruction at #SkiSpec. It is so inspiring to watch these American heroes who have suffered amputations, paralysis, blindness, and many other injuries in service to our country get out on the slopes and “back in the game!” The smiles and camaraderie that surround this event is reaffirming that our support for Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, is money very well donated!”
Located in Huntington Beach, California, the SeaCliff Tee It Up and Serve It Up for the Troops events are the most successful fundraising events held to date for Tee It Up for the Troops. Since 2011, SeaCliff Tee It Up for the Troops has raised more than $1.5 million in support of all those who serve(d) in the United States Armed Forces.
Why are the events held at SeaCliff Country Club so successful? Well, like all great events, the people involved make the difference…but SeaCliff has another secret to share. In addition to hitting golf balls in support of military troops and their families, they hit and serve up tennis balls in gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by our bravest. SeaCliff’s Serve It Up for the Troops is the first and, so far, only tennis tournament raising funds for Tee It Up for the Troops nationally. The 2018 tennis tournament aced over $123,000!
The first Serve It Up for the Troops tournament at SeaCliff was held in 2013 with about 25 players and $5,000 being raised. Last year, 138 players participated in the two-day mixed doubles tournament with a 20-fold increase in profit, making SeaCliff’s tennis tournament one of the top fundraising events overall for Tee It Up for the Troops. Kristi Serrano, Chairperson for SeaCliff Serve It Up for the Troops, says this is the biggest tennis tournament in Huntington Beach and draws players from all over Orange County. “There are lots of people who aren’t golfers that want to participate and support our military, and this gives them another option. We also have some community members that play in both the tennis and golf events.”
Serve It Up for the Troops festivities included an inspirational exhibition match featuring wheelchair-bound veterans playing against high level players, a Raise It Up for the Troops party and dinner held on the main court, silent and live auction, live band and dancing. Around 300 people attended the beautiful, sit down dinner event.
Kristi knows all too well the hard work that goes into an event this size…especially when you learn one week out that the program speaker you’ve
planned on can’t make the event. “So, I called in the Marines and like true Marines, they came through and pointed me towards Derek Herrera from the Marine Raider Foundation,” Kristi explained. Captain Derek Herrera, a Marine paralyzed from the chest down by a sniper in Afghanistan and
Purple Heart and Bronze Star for bravery recipient, became the honored guest speaker. Kristi says people were blown away with Derek’s moving talk, wiping tears away, and wanting to donate more money. “This is why we are all here. As a former military wife with a child, I know how hard it is for our soldiers and their families to be separated by time and countries, not to mention the injuries many sustain. I urge everyone to get involved … we can never have enough volunteers. Start a Serve It Up event in your community. After Derek spoke, I said I am ALL IN for next year’s event.” (Read more about Derek Herrera’s story here.)
The 7th annual Tee It Up for the Troops golf tournament at SeaCliff was held on August 20, 2018 and was wildly successful with net proceeds of $175,000 and 140 golfers. The SeaCliff event committee prides itself on being the number one fundraising event for Tee It Up for the Troops in terms of proceeds and size.
Leslie Mayes, Chairperson for SeaCliff’s Tee It Up for the Troops explained what makes their event unique, “Players enjoyed pre-tournament activities after checking in with their 1-1 personal concierge who walked them through the check-in process and schedule of events. An opening observance and tribute to our nation and military, complete with ceremonial bagpipes and a T-34 aircraft flyover, kicked off the golf tournament with ABC news anchor, Phillip Palmer, serving as master of ceremonies. During the tournament, the pin flags are manned by active duty military and long drive Pro Kyle Warren, who’s Navy father recently passed away from exposure to Agent Orange, could be called upon to hit a big one down the middle. A Meet
the Heroes Reception featuring cocktails and a silent auction followed golf and the day ended with a dinner, speaker Sue Pollard, National President for Gold Star Moms, and live auction.” When asked what inspires her to Chair this tournament, Leslie added, “When you see who you help…all the wounded veterans on property and military organizations that need our help… we do it for them because they are protecting our freedoms and we need to give back to them.”
SeaCliff’s first Tee It Up for the Troops event was started by Mark Mayes, Leslie’s husband, in 2011 with the help of Retired Air Force Lieutenant General George Muellner, both SeaCliff members. Mark, President of the California Chapter for Tee It Up for the Troops, had this advice when asked why the event is so successful. “We are super fiscal with our money and no one gets a free ride. Everyone pays to play…except for our military… each warrior is sponsored. We also get our volunteers very engaged and we make it fun for them…it’s their tournament.” What keeps Mark coming back each year to help with the event? “I have several faces in my mind right now… one wounded Marine looked at me and he thanks me with tears in his eyes for helping the warriors. I’m getting chocked up just thinking about it. We do it for the warriors and it’s just very rewarding,” Mark said.
This year’s event honored Veteran Zach Martinez, who after rallying for a permanent memorial (Patriot Point) on the bluffs of Huntington Beach with the help of SeaCliff Tee It Up for the Troops, passed away from an illness. SeaCliff Tee It Up and Serve It Up for the Troops raised money for 10 non-profit organizations this past year including larger groups such as Warrior Foundation Freedom Station and Fisher House and local non-profits like Operation Surf, Patriot Point and Junior Amateur Golf Scholars (JAGS).
The SeaCliff Country Club and its community all join to support this weekend event…even the kids! Near hole #7, you could find a lemonade stand run by 11-year old Maddie Rhoads. This was Maddie’s second year selling lemonade to the golfers and she has donated over $200 to Tee It Up for the Troops from her lemonade stand. This year, Maddie was joined by Daphne Mayes, Mark and Leslie’s five-year-old granddaughter, to help continue the family’s commitment to Tee It Up. Thanks to Maddie’s caring heart, and the passion and hearts of all the volunteers and supporters of this event, SeaCliff’s Tee It Up and Serve It Up for the Troops to help military troops and their families is just a bit sweeter.
We are also pleased to share that as a special tribute to all that Mark and Leslie Mayes have done for Tee It Up for the Troops, they were presented with a “Patriot Award” for their years of commitment, passion and patriotism displayed in the Seacliff Tee It Up & Serve It Up for the Troops events. Mark and Leslie, thank you for leading the way to help support Veterans and their families!
Dataw Island’s week-long Veterans Celebration thanked our Veterans of the Armed Forces in many joyous ways. The week kicked off with members lining 2.5 miles of roadways with 3,500 flags to set a patriotic ambiance on the island and the inspirational Opening Ceremony paid tribute to our Nation, the men and women of our military, and our cherished freedoms.
This year, the week-long event raised $53,775 (with donations still trickling in). Funds will be distributed to Tee It Up for the Troops and various other local veterans’ organizations.
Chris Fearn’s one-man Golf Marathon, which supported Tee It Up for the Troops, was an unbelievable battle of determination by Chris who fought the rain and wind elements under cart path only conditions and set a new, personal record of 227 holes golfed in one day!
Spotting for him, cheering him on, and occasionally holding an umbrella or drying a ball while he played through afternoon squalls, member volunteers were critical to his success of completing an astounding 227 holes! Fearn also attributes his success to the many veterans who came out to support him, several of whom he has coached for three years now as part of the On-Course Foundation’s Simpson Cup Team.
“It really is motivating to look over and see these guys here supporting me,” Fearn said. “I’m always so humbled for the opportunity to serve them in return for all they have done for us.”
The day concluded with a celebratory dinner provided by the Disabled American Veterans. Attendees were treated to a Lowcountry feast and enjoyed meeting many of the honored guests, including the Guests of Honor, DeWitt Osborne, of the Salute Military Golf Association and Jason Faircloth, founder of the Disable Golf Association of America, the first organization of its kind.
Tuesday kicked off with the Veterans March and Rally. Complete with a march of more than 100 veterans from all branches of the service, presentation of the colors, and a heartfelt performance of patriotic songs, including each of the armed service songs from each military branch and a beautiful rendition of our national anthem, performed by the Dataw Singers, a choral group led by Dataw member Tim McGrath.
A golf tournament for veterans of all ages and their supporters was played on Tuesday on both of the Dataw Island Golf Courses. The Veterans Golf Classic supports Tee it Up for the Troops with beneficiaries such as the Fisher House, Warfighter Sports, the On-Course Foundation, and the Warrior Canine Connection, to name just a few.
“Something magical happens when playing golf-hitting that little white ball down the fairway with your buddies pays therapeutic values and life lasting dividends for America’s wounded, disabled and injured warriors,” said event chair Col. Glenn Blackburn, US Army Ret. “It teaches them that they can improvise, adapt and overcome their disability and achieve success. Dataw Island provides a wonderful venue for them to ignite and display happiness.”
After a fun round of golf, attendees convened at a luncheon to celebrate the service and sacrifice of many men and women, which featured testimonies provided by wounded veterans, including an inspiring presentation by DeWitt, who told the teary-eyed crowd a story many of them could relate to all-too-well – a story of challenge, adversity, perseverance, and overcoming. Dataw was honed by the SCGA with the presentation of a framed flag and plaque. Another highlight each year is the presentation of the Quilt of Valor; this year, the labor of love was given to DeWitt as a thank you for his service and sacrifice. Dave Luzzi emceed the presentation of a patriotic golf bag to Bob Hopkins in recognition for all he does each year to serve fellow veterans.
The week was completed by a Veterans Breakfast with Col. Glenn Blackburn serving as speaker. Blackburn spoke about the evolution of Dataw Island’s efforts in support of veterans, including the contributions to helping wounded or disabled veterans regain their confidence and independence through the game of golf.
Michele Weaber, also a Dataw member, brought the crowd of veterans and their spouses to tears with an emotive reading of the poem, “Forever Proud and Free,” a reading which has been more than a year in the making. Prior to his passing, 2017 Veteran of the Year Jack Cummings had personally requested the reading.
A moment of silence was also held to honor Dataw veterans who have passed.
Another highlight included the naming of this year’s Dataw Island Veteran of the Year … Jim Morrissey! Morrissey has played an integral part in Dataw’s events and contributions for veterans in recent years. Morrissey served in the US Army through Vietnam and then, as a civilian, worked at LaGuardia Airport and was the first of his counterparts to make the call to shut down operations during the 9/11 attacks, quite possibly saving more lives.
Al Sears, also a Dataw member, was also recognized for his continued contributions. Presenting the award was event emcee Bo Tobin, who also thanked Bob “Hoppy” Hopkins for his ongoing contributions, and Dataw staff, particularly Dave Britton and Chris Fearn.
This year, SC Gov. Henry McMaster also made a Proclamation to name Nov. 6 as “Tee It Up for the Troops Day.” Col. Blackburn presented the Proclamation to Britton to hang in the Pro Shop for all to ap
Thank you Tee It Up for the Troops-Dataw Island organizers, volunteers, sponsors, supporters and veterans for your support of the Tee It Up for the Troops mission to honor, remember, respect and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces of the United States and for helping our heroes! What a great Veterans Week of events!
Operation Canyon Rising is an expedition for disabled veterans to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim as motivation to aid in their rehabilitation and provide them with a monumental goal that, once achieved, gives them incentive to lead a fulfilling life.
Starting from the North rim is symbolic of how life was before their injury or illness. Then by hiking down the floor of the canyon, the depths of the realization of the permanent realities of the new disability and the monumental recovery ahead are reached. Finally, climbing out of the canyon on the South rim gives the analogy of “RISING UP” to meet their life-long challenge, learning to overcome limitations and gaining hope for both the veteran and others they are closely associated with.
Tee It Up for the Troops sponsorship of this expedition helped six individuals make this rim to rim journey including two below the knee amputees, one above the knee amputee, one arm amputee, one Gold Star widow and one Gold Star sister.
Founder Steve Connolly, Lt. Col. (Ret) USAF Reserves, had this to say: “This was probably the most impactful expedition I have done so far! I cannot thank you enough, yet again, for your support. The combination of the disabled veterans with the Gold Star family members was unbelievable. As we got to the bottom of the canyon and they opened up about their lows in life, each member of the team found a way to connect with others on the team. They formed beautiful bonds and really helped to heal each other. Many were suicidal and in talking with each other, they saw different points of views, common grounds of hurt and reasons to go on in life. Our motto of RISE UP on September 11th was taken to heart and they all left this journey with a purpose in life and a path forward. I just want you to know that you truly made a difference in their lives, and in sponsoring this expedition, you showed them that people out there really do care about them and that means a lot!”
On September 11, 2018, as the group hiked out of the canyon, their motto of “RISE UP” to face life’s challenges was taken to heart as they all left this journey with a purpose in life and a path forward… just as our country did after the terrorist attacks 17 years ago on that same date.
If you would like to read the bios of these brave participants or learn more about Operation Canyon Rising, click here.
The Tee It Up for the Troops Rochester, Minnesota event is one of many Tee It Up for the Troops golf tournaments held across the nation each year. In terms of money raised to support our mission, this event is the second largest golf tournament in Minnesota and ranks in the top 10 nation-wide. Over the past 11 years, this event held at Willow Creek Golf Course, has raised more than $550,000 for veterans and military service organizations and has established itself as one of the strongest charity golf events that brings together the Rochester Minnesota and surrounding community it serves.
On August 23, 2018, 180 golfers including 36 military members, filled the Willow Creek Golf Course to honor, remember, respect and support all who serve(d) in the Armed Forces for this great nation. The opening ceremony kicked off the event paying tribute to seven World War II veterans as well as two Medal of Honor recipients who have now visited the event for two consecutive years. Four local Gold Star families were also honored during the ceremony that paid tribute to their sons who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There is huge support for our troops and the Rochester tournament,” said event chairman Lynn Clarey. “We usually have a waiting list of golfers and sponsors who want to be a part of this event. What is really exciting about this annual event is seeing the local military impact from the money raised.”
In addition to making a difference for Veterans across the United States, this tournament also made a different to Minnesota veterans with a generous donation to the Believet Canine Service Partners Organization in Northfield, Minnesota. Believet provides highly trained service dogs, free of charge, to disabled veterans, helping them to lead a more productive, independent life. Tee It Up for the Troops-Rochester’s donation will feed eight dogs in training through Believet Canine Service Partners to be service dogs for disabled veterans for one year!
Thank you Tee It Up for the Troops-Rochester organizers, volunteers, sponsors and supporters for your support of the Tee It Up for the Troops mission to honor, remember, respect and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces of the United States and for helping our heroes!
Photo to left: US troops stationed in Afghanistan were grateful to receive care packages from students at Rochester High School in partnership with Operation Hometown Gratitude. A grant from the Tee It Up for the Troops – Rochester Minnesota event was used to pay for the postage costs to ship the packages.
Chris Fearn, Assistant Golf Pro Dataw Island Club, will be “stepping up to the tee” to golf “100 Holes of Golf” to support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces and needs your support! Chris’ goal is to raise $50,000 in support of the mission of Tee It Up for the Troops and his Heroes. In addition to supporting all those who serve with your tax-deductible donation, you will be entered into cumulative prize drawings based on your donation amount! Prizes are listed below or can be found via the following links:
CLICK HERE to learn more and to mail in your donation.
Five years ago, when Chris began helping to run the Veteran’s Day event to support disabled Veterans, he was very moved by the disabled veterans that were their guests. Chris said, “the positive outlook that they have on life was so encouraging. Spending time with each one of them really motivated me and made me look at life in a different way. I knew then, that I wanted to do more to help.”
When Chris came up with the idea of doing a golf marathon he had no idea the impact it was going to have, or how many individuals it would touch and help. The impact is what motivates him to continue to do a golf marathon every year which Chris says “is easy compared to the sacrifice of all those who serve(d). This is the least I can do for them!” When Chris gets tired while playing “100 Holes of Golf” he looks at the picture of his uncle who was killed in the Vietnam War, the picture of Dave Bagby a friend and disabled Veteran who passed away, or he just looks around at the disabled veterans that come out to support him and that is all the motivation he needs to keep going.
Chris will be “stepping up to the tee” at Dataw Island Club in St. Helena Island, South Carolina to play “100 Holes of Golf” in support of his Heroes and all those who serve(d)! All donations made to the “100 Holes of Golf” Marathon will go to Tee It Up for the Troops whose mission is to honor, remember, respect and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces for our great nation.
9 Hole Club – Minimum $25 donation Your name entered into a drawing for your choice of a Men’s ¼ Zip or Women’s Full Zip jacket.
18 Hole Club – Minimum $50 donation Your name entered into a drawing for a PING stand golf bag. This super lightweight bag has seven pockets for storage.
36 Hole Club – Minimum $100 donation Your name entered into a drawing for a Stay and Play package at Reunion Resort in Orlando, FL.
54 Hole Club – Minimum $250 donation Your name entered into a drawing for a Stay and Play package at the Hammock Beach Resort, along Florida’s Palm Coast.
72 Hole Club – Minimum $500 donation Your name entered into a drawing for your choice from two Stay and Play packages at the beautiful Crystal Springs Resort, located in the rolling farmland of New Jersey.
90 Hole Club – Minimum $750 donation Your name entered into a drawing for a 4 day – 3-night golf package for 4 to beautiful Dataw Island, South Carolina.
100 Hole Club – Minimum $1000 donation Your name entered into a drawing for the Tee It Up for the Troops 8th annual REUNION event, held at the Reunion Resort, Kissimee FL, Jan 10-13, 2019.
Are you the kind of person that cares about making a difference in the lives of all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces for this great nation? If so, then you are exactly the kind of person we are looking for! Tee It Up for the Troops is currently hiring for an Office Assistant. Details regarding the position can be found below. Inquiries and resumes should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job Title: Office Assistant Reports To: Director of Operations Status: Non-Exempt, Part-time approximately 30 hours/week Prepared Date: 10/2018
Military Veteran Status: Preferred
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Position exists to support the mission and goals of the national organization of Tee It Up for the Troops (TIUFTT). All actions and decisions must align with the overall mission to honor, remember, respect, and support all those who have served to protect our great nation.
This position will complete various office activities of TIUFTT by providing front and back office support. Maintains various inventories, completes documents and correspondence, manages phone, mail and its distribution, arranges shipments and secures travel requests. Position will be responsible for the efficient operation of the National Office.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
85% – Primary liaison, within the National Office, to ensure efficient and effective operation of this office. Positively communicate with co-workers, visitors, and members of the Board. Support event requests for supplies and merchandise, manage warehouse, maintain inventory including storage of merchandise in the warehouse and the on-line store. Positively answer phones and properly direct inquiries. Open, sort and distribute mail daily, complete office shipments including merchandise/supplies for events. Maintain accurate Customer Relationship Management database. Prepare internal and external documents as directed including [Board and Grant Committee] meeting documents. Follow up on Grant applications. Work alongside Event Manager and manage assigned tasks to ensure events receive committed items. Responsible for scheduling meetings, appointments and managing travel especially event travel. This position will also assist the President and Director of Operations with key follow up tasks related to events, sponsorships, projects, Board members, warriors and other key constituents.
15% – Assist Event Manager, Warrior Veteran Coordinator, Bookkeeper, Event Leaders, Director of Operations and President with special requests and event activities as directed.
Effective oral, written and interpersonal skills, including the ability to positively communicate with event leaders, warriors, club managers, visitors, Board Members, vendors, sponsors, media, volunteers, and other team members of the National Office as well as the community at large.
Work Environment Standard office environment, significant phone and computer work, occasional travel may be required with the ability to occasionally work non-traditional hours. Outdoor environment as needed for participation in events. Must be able to complete work with numerous interruptions. Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
High school diploma and three (3) years’ experience in an administrative role.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Ability to work independently and be self-directed. Demonstrates initiative. Must also work effectively as part of a team. Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality. Possesses the ability to establish credibility, trust, and partnership both within the organization and with outside partners. Professional phone etiquette. Proficient in Office 365 Suite PC skills. Experience with Salesforce a plus. Professional in dress, decisions, actions and interactions. Results oriented, with the ability to prioritize, work under pressure and meet deadlines.
We hope you enjoy this short video are are inspired by all that we can accomplish by “stepping up to the tee” and working together on behalf of.
Since 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted more than 415 fundraising events in over 40 states. With the generous support of sponsors and volunteers, these events have allowed us to donate over $9,000,000to more than 325 veteran service organizations that provide critically needed services to help our veterans to heal, transition, grow and thrive. Tee It Up for the Troops targets its support across these critical areas of need:
Treatment of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries: the hidden wounds of war
Suicide Awareness and Prevention: reducing veteran suicides
Employment: veteran unemployment rate is much higher than the national average
Sports and Recreation: both adaptive and rehabilitative
Family and Caregiver Support: strong family + strong caregiver = strong warrior
Housing: homelessness, plus transitional and comfort housing while receiving treatment
We also continue to strengthen veterans through our REUNION program in which we have reunited nearly 300 combat veterans who were separated due to battlefield injuries, changes in rehabilitation, or other reasons beyond their control.
In addition, we are honored to assist veterans in launching their own business through our Operation Heartfirst initiative with Anytime Fitness.
Bourbon, MO – Imperial Headwear, the #1 headwear brand for Private and Resort golf facilities as reported by the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) in their Member Survey the last 3 consecutive years, announced a new partnership with national veterans non-profit, Tee It Up for the Troops (TIUFTT).
Imperial will become an “Official Headwear Partner of Tee It Up for the Troops” under the new agreement, and provide custom branded headwear for TIUFTT tournament participants and welcome packages.
“Tee It Up for the Troops is very appreciative of our partnership with Imperial Headwear,” said Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director of TIUFTT. “Imperial’s quality is second to none and we are excited that they are joining us in our mission to honor and support our United States veterans.”
Many TIUFTT tournaments across the country will be offering custom TIUFTT branded headwear by Imperial as tee gifts to their participants this season. Imperial will also be offering an online-exclusive collection of TIUFTT headwear on their website – ImperialSports.com – with a portion of proceeds given back to TIUFTT, which since its inception in 2005 has donated over $9 million to more than 325 veterans service organizations.
“Tee It Up for the Troops is doing terrific things for our active duty service members and our veterans,” said David Shaffer, VP Sales & Marketing at Imperial Headwear. “Imperial is happy to support them in their mission.”