Winner of Motorcycle Raffle Announced!

The winner of the 2012 Victory Motorcycle Raffle was drawn on Friday, December 9th at 10 a.m. at the National Office for Tee it up for the Troops.  The winner is Jon Vee from Fairbault, MN.  Jon is a Golf Pro at Faribault Country Club and was very excited to be picked as the winner.  Congratulations to Jon and thank you to everyone that purchased a raffle ticket in support of Tee it up for the Troops.

TIUFTT National Event Sponsor Gives Back

This past weekend a group of volunteers from TDS, a national TIUFTT event sponsor, and Tee it up for the Troops went shopping for items for care packages.  They put together special Ziploc baggies for soldiers plus and additional box or two for each location that contained an assortment of goodies such as games, magazines, DVDs, personal care items, toys and small gifts for the local children, as well as other surprise holiday items.

Another group of volunteers baked 3,500+ cookies.  The cookies are being sent to three different units in Afghanistan (total of 135 soldiers) along with the care packages.  There will also be a large batch of cookies delivered to the MAC-V house at the VA hospital in Minneapolis.

TDS chose to do this as way to show their support, care and concern for each member of the troops.  The message that TDS wishes to convey to each soldier is, “God bless all of you! Hope this makes the holidays a little brighter!  You are not forgotten!”

To learn more about TDS you can visit their website at www.tdstelecom.com.

Founding Fathers Lager to Benefit Military Families

Founding-Fathers-Logo-300x218Founding Fathers Beer, a new American lager that is both owned and brewed in the United States, will be donating half of its profits to the families of military troops.  In Minnesota, the profits will be administered through non-profit organizations and Tee it up for the Troops was one of the two organizations selected.

Founding Fathers Products is a company dedicated to producing products that represent the ideals embraced by early America.  “The largest breweries in America are now foreign-owned and Founding Fathers is not only owned and brewed in America, but half of our profits will go to those serving in our armed forces and their families,” said Phil Knutsen, founder and CEO.  “We are thrilled to be introducing a new beer choice to Americans that will both taste great and compete with national brands.”

For more information about Founding Fathers Beer, visit www.foundingfathersbrewingco.com.

 

founding-fathers

Give to the Max Day

The Great Minnesota “GIVE” Together

Together, we have the power to help our veterans  as they face the challenges of returning home to “new normals” following their injuries.

Today, is Give to the Max Day and your donation to Tee it up for the Troops will offer a better life for our veterans and their families.

As you consider your charitable end-of-year giving, please consider participating in Give to the Max Day November 16. GiveMN is easy to use, and your gift to Tee it up for the Troops will make a huge difference to our ongoing work.  Your gift makes a BIG difference.

More about Give to the Max Day

What if you could help us win $1000 just by giving 10 bucks? On November 16, Give to the Max Day, you can.

Last year, more than 42,000 donors logged on to GiveMN.org and gave over $10 million to Minnesota charities in 24 hours during Give to the Max Day. Together, we have the power to raise millions of dollars for thousands of nonprofits. Tee it up for the Troops, with GiveMN.org – a first-of-its-kind giving website for nonprofits in Minnesota – is working to create a stronger nonprofit community for Minnesota.

GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day amplifies your giving impact in a number of ways:

  1. Win a Golden Ticket! $1,000 will be given to a random donor’s charity every hour. You could be that donor! Our goal is to raise $20,000 which could be raised via 200 – $100 donations or 400 – $50 donations or a combination of the two.
  2. Put us on the Leader Board! $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 prize grants will be awarded to the top three nonprofit organizations (colleges and universities excluded) which receive the most dollars in 24 hours during Give to the Max Day.
  3. NEW THIS YEAR! $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 prize grants will be awarded to the top three small nonprofit organizations – with budgets under $750,000 – which receive the most dollars on Give to the Max Day.

Click on the giveMN.org logo above  to access the TIUFTT giving page.

TIUFTT Nominated for the Joining Forces Community Challenge.

Joining-Forces-300x208In April 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, a national initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families. The initiative aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of our society — citizens, communities, schools, non-profits, faith-based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government — to ensure military families have the support they have earned.

In an effort to recognize those citizens and organizations with a demonstrated, genuine, and deep desire to be of service to military families, the First Lady and Dr. Biden have established the Joining Forces Community Challenge.  The Challenge was established with the expectation that recognizing and celebrating those who are dedicated to improving the lives of military families will have the added benefit of encouraging others to do so as well.

To learn more about the Joining Forces Community Challenge click here.

Thank you to Kristen Howland for nominating Tee it up for the Troops for the Joining Forces Community Challenge.  Posted below is a copy of the nomination letter she submitted.

I am nominating the organization TEE IT UP FOR THE TROOPS for your consideration for the JOINING FORCES COMMUNITY CHALLENGE

Nominator: KRISTEN HOWLAND – SAVAGE, MINNESOTA

I am a volunteer for this amazing organization, which was started by my good friend, James “JB” BALL. TEE IT UP FOR THE TROOPS (TIUFTT) was established in 2005 by JB. His son, Tyler Ball enlisted in the US Army after 9-11, 2001 and was deployed to Iraq shortly thereafter. You can only imagine the concern we all had for Tyler during this highly volatile time serving in this unstable part of the world. Tyler’s dad and mom, JB and Laurie, asked their son what he needed them to send. Tyler responded by telling his dad, “We have everything we need here, but please do something for the soldiers and their families back home. They are the ones who really need the help.” TIUFTT was created to honor that request and to recognize the needs of those who have served and continue to serve this great nation through their military service.

The main event established for TIUFTT was the National Day of Golf. Since it began in 2005, it has grown to include numerous golf outings throughout the country where proceeds benefit veterans from every military branch and conflict. Each year the event is scheduled on the Friday closest to September 11th. It started locally in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul at the Mendakota Country Club, and has quickly grown to include golf outings at hundreds of golf courses across the country. This is a day to salute all who have answered the call of duty in service to their country. The mission is to honor, respect, remember and support the sacrifices of all veterans AND their families. Monies raised at these events go to support organizations that make a difference in the lives of these very special people. It is the goal of TIUFTT to give 95% of the proceeds directly to any of the armed services vets. Just a few of those organizations include:

DISABLED SPORTS USA
The mission of DSUSA is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs. The organization, established in 1967 by disabled Vietnam vets, exists to serve those injured in war. DSUSA offers nationwide sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability. Activities include winter skiing, water sports, summer and winter competitions, fitness and special sporting events.

FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION
Fisher House Foundation donates “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and BA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to their loved one at the most stressful time – during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment.

HOPE FOR THE WARRIORS
Hope for the Warriors exists to enhance quality of life for US service members and their families nationwide who have been adversely affected by injuries or death in the line of duty. Hope for the Warriors actively seeks to ensure that the sacrifices of wounded and fallen warriors and their families are never forgotten nor their needs unmet.

INTREPID FALLEN HEROES FUND
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund supports the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. In January 2007 the fund opened a world-class, state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The center serves military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans severely injured in other operations and in normal performance of their duties. Here they also treat Traumatic Brain Injury and provide advanced services for treatment, family education, and post-traumatic stress.

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
The Wounded Warrior Project carries out its mission of honoring and empowering wounded warriors by providing unique programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

If you haven’t had the privilege, I wish you could attend one of these amazing golf events. I have worked at every event since 2005 and each year is better than the year before – and I don’t even golf! The event starts very early in the morning and goes until about midnight. It is a celebrity golf tournament, yes. There is a round of morning golf and an afternoon as well. In between, there is a special program and a lunch for all participants and sponsors. The program includes the entrance down the green of a group of bagpipers in full regalia, the singing of the national anthem and a most moving presentation of an honorary wreath to honor fallen soldiers by the Gold Star Mothers representing the State of Minnesota. But there’s so much more: a live American Eagle display where people can ask questions and hold a live eagle, a demonstration group of working service dogs, a missing man formation flyover and the landing of a Blackhawk helicopter (in the helicopter are veterans representing all wars dating back to WWII). After the day of golf there is a massive silent and live auction and a wonderful banquet to celebrate all the servicemen and women. It is an event that everyone walks away from – a changed person. The most important part is the celebrities, of course there are professional sports figures and other celebs, but the REAL celebrities are real-life soldiers who’ve been wounded, many are amputees, some are missing multiple limbs. They come to golf in specially equipped carts made just for them and are honored by everyone in attendance by their presence. The organization flies them in from Walter Reed and other facilities. TIUFTT gives them the red-carpet treatment and each has their own moving story to share.

Now the National Day of Golf raises funds at courses across the nation, but beyond that, golf courses, nationwide, can participate on different levels by making donations to TIUFTT as well. Organizations and businesses can become sponsors as well and this is a very big part of organizing the event. JB started TIUFTT, but it is operated by a governing board. The event itself is run by JB and his family, the board and hundreds of giving volunteers who believe equally in the effort.

Here is one short story of Charles Eggleston, a Purple Heart Recipient:

“Tee it up for the Troops is one of those rare organizations that truly cares about the service members and veterans of this country. I am so humbled and thankful to be involved with them. When I was at Walter Reed, I was thinking that I wouldn’t be able to participate in any sporting activities after all of my surgeries. I was at rock bottom because of injuries sustained in a IED blast in Iraq, and Tee it up for the Troops gave me words of inspiration and support. Golf and Tee it up for the Troops has opened the door to the many possibilities before me, and it has given me a greater appreciation and zest for life and purpose as to what I should do with the time have left on this earth to help my fellow soldiers and veterans. So to you James Ball, and Tee it up for the Troops, thanks for a helping hand in the midst of our troubled times.”

I have heard dozens of stories over the years just like this – stories of young men and women who had been so terribly injured that they’d lost all hope of ever experiencing life as they once knew it. It may seem difficult to believe, but a simple game of golf has made such a huge difference to so many. And the money that has been raised, did I mention over $4 million dollars in just seven years? All because of the request of one young soldier to his dad. “Dad, help the soldiers and their families back home,” and the dad who had a heart for the mission set before him and the gumption to make it a reality.

MISSION STATEMENT
TEE IT UP FOR THE TROOPS, INC. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Their mission is to honor, respect and remember the service of those who have given so freely to protect our great nation. TIUFTT raises monetary support for the needs of veterans and their families through events at both private and public golf courses, stand-alone fundraising events, sponsorships and direct donations. It is with these funds that the organization is committed to assisting those who have served us so well.

For more information, contact 952-646-2490, or go online to info@teeitupforthetroops.org

Tee it up for the Troops has been able to make a huge difference in the lives of many veterans and their families because of support from the American public. Golfers, sponsors, and citizens across the country have “stepped up to the tee” to say “thank you” to the members of the US Armed Forces and their families.

1st Annual Tee it up for the Troops Reunion Event

reunion_logo You are invited to join us for the First Annual Tee it up for the Troops Reunion Event on January 4-8 in Orlando, Florida. This event is the perfect place to start an annual “reunion” with old friends, relatives, classmates or comrades who you haven’t seen in awhile.

You will enjoy 4 days and 4 nights of World Class Golf at Reunion Resort on all three of our signature courses, daily casual and fine dining events, and spacious overnight accommodations that will make you feel like you are relaxing in your home away from home.

Join us as we combine 4 days of fun, fellowship and a golf competition in honor of the men and women in uniform that have fought for this great nation.  To download an official entry form for this event, please
click here.

TIUFTT Creates Connections and Builds Community

Last week I had the pleasure and honor to attend the Opening Ceremony for the 7th Annual Tee it up for the Troops National Day of Golf.  As in past years, I was deeply moved by the patriotic display of remembrance and respect for the service of our military men and women.  As I took time to mingle with those in attendance I asked myself how many people have taken time out of their busy schedule to attend an event like this and visit with someone who has served in the military?

WWII Veterans during the Opening Ceremony at the 7th Annual Tee it up for the Troops National Day of Golf

This event provides an opportunity to do just that.  It is an event that honors the service of all military personnel across all branches and conflicts that our military has been involved in.  One of the most memorable moments for me was to see two rows of WWII veterans with front row seats to the Opening Ceremony.  Afterwards, I took the time to thank some of these veterans for their service and in exchange I heard a first hand account of one veteran’s experiences during the Invasion of Normandy.  He was even planning a trip to Normandy next June to take the ashes of a fellow soldier to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. I realized after talking with this WWII veteran that his story being told in his own words had more of an impact on me than any history class or book could have demonstrated.

Two of the golfers at the 7th Annual Tee it up for the Troops National Day of Golf share a moment of success on the golf course.

During the ceremony I noted that many of the veterans had been given yellow ribbons to wear, which helped me identify those who had answered the call to duty.  The impact behind the significance of the ribbons was made evident as I watched several veterans interact with each other.  I saw many of the veterans reach out to each other in greeting as one another passed by.  They would share a brief bit of their military experience with the other and all the while they would have a smile on their face or a tear in their eye as they continued to hold onto the arm or the shoulder of the individual they were talking to.  It was reminiscent of long lost brothers being reunited after spending years apart.

Wreath Laying Ceremony by Gold Star Families during the 7th Annual Tee it up for the Troops National Day of Golf.

As the ceremony drew to a close and I looked across the crowd of people gathered there, I realized how many more stories I had yet to hear.  Besides the veterans I had already met, there were also Gold Star Families (families that have lost a loved one in military service), Wounded Warriors (severely wounded or injured soldiers), Tribute to the Troops members (organization dedicated to honoring our fallen heroes) and many others who had all united that day to honor, respect and remember the sacrifices of all veterans and their families.  Thank you to Tee it up for the Troops for hosting events like this and providing me the opportunity to connect with those who have served to protect this great nation.  I have a greater sense of connection and community with our “protectors of the turf” and their families, and I am grateful.

Tribute to the Troops members pictured with a Wounded Warrior during the 7th Annual Tee it up for the Troops National Day of Golf.

 

 

Victory Motorcycle Raffle

Victory-Motorycycles-300x224Tee it up for the Troops and Polaris Industries have partnered to present you the opportunity to win the pictured 2012 Victory Motorcycle.

If you are interested in learning how you can purchase a $20 raffle ticket you can contact our national office via email at info@teeitupforthetroops.org or by phone at 952-646-2490.  Please note that a purchase of a raffle ticket does not constitute a tax-deductible contribution to Tee it up for the Troops.  The winning ticket will be drawn on December 9, 2011 and the proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will benefit the men and women of the US Armed Forces and their families.

 

National “Honor, Respect and Remember” Walk

Tee it up for the Troops announces an opportunity to support the brave men and women in uniform who serve or have served this great nation.

The “Honor, Respect and Remember” Walk provides an opportunity to recognize and honor your loved ones by making a $50 donation to Tee it up for the Troops. In return, a sign which will be placed in our designated “Honor, Respect and Remember” Walk during our Annual Flagship Event at the Mendakota Country Club Tee it up for the Troops Event on September 9, 2011. Your designated honoree will also be included on the virtual “Honor, Respect and Remember” page of the National Tee it up for the Troops website.

You can participate in the “Honor, Respect and Remember” Walk by sending an email to info@teeitupforthetroops.org and including the following information:

  1. Name(s) of those being honored or remembered
  2. Branch(es) of service
  3. Years of service
  4. Conflict they served or are currently serving
  5. An electronic photo (jpg format is preferred)
  6. $50 Donation is appreciated per honoree**
  7. Your name, address and phone number

**You will be sent an invoice for donation payment.

If you would like to help us honor these deserving men and women who serve or have served, please share this with friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.

Thank you and Let Us Never Forget!