Barstool Sports and 25 Longest Day Golfers Drive Donations to Support Tee It Up for the Troops and Veterans Mental Health

Each year, participants of the Tee It Up for the Troops  Longest Day of Golf at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Minnesota raise pledges from friends and family and tee off at the crack of dawn to golf as many holes as they can in a day. Backs and arms were sore the next day with 1,795 holes of golf played by 25 dedicated individuals during this year’s 2021 Longest Day of Golf for the Troops at Bunker Hills Golf Course on June 11th.

Barstool Sports and Veteran Hereos Tee It Up

New this year, the event welcomed combat veteran and motivational speaker, John Kriesel and Barstool Sports personality and blogger, Uncle Chaps, a Marine and Purple Heart recipient who hosts the military popular podcast “Zero Blog Thirty.”  Kriesel, Chaps, and the rest of the dedicated team members golfed from sunup to sundown, fundraising to assist disabled veterans and their families.

In 2007, Chaps McNealy was a Marine serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Chaps was a bomb-dog handler who focused on clearing IEDs with his four-legged partner, Csika. Chaps was medically retired due to injuries sustained from a gunshot wound and multiple concussions near Fallujah, Iraq. After years of struggling without answers, Chaps says that he finally became proactive in his medical care and sought treatment for PTSD and TBI. “Having PTSD and brain issues doesn’t make one weak,” Chaps says. “Recognizing that you need help and seeking that help makes you strong.” It’s the hidden scars – the mental ones of war – that Chaps is now fighting and trying to bring to light.

Chaps tweeted to his fans to donate.

 

Chaps, who flew in from San Antonio for the event, has most recently used his social media to send out messages to his fan base to donate funds to our cause at Tee It Up for the Troops. Chaps’ show and Barstool Sports as a whole have been doing this sort of thing for a few years. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy accepted Chaps’ challenge on a previous pledge drive for mental health care for veterans and it matched Chaps’ fundraising efforts which led to a total of over $200K. Chaps and his fans are thrilled to help causes like these in any way they can. 

Watch Chaps and the other veteran heroes and participants in the Longest Day of Golf.

Heroes On and Off the Course

Chaps spent much of the day golfing and raising funds alongside Kriesel and Tim Nelson. Kriesel and Nelson were in the same vehicle on December 2, 2006, when a roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq, cost Kriesel his legs, injured Nelson, and killed two fellow soldiers and friends.

Chaps, Kriesel and Nelson. Hereos on and off the golf course!

 

John Kriesel, a Purple Heart recipient and retired National Guard Staff Sergeant, is currently a Director of Veteran Services in the Twin Cities. He is also a part-time contributor on KFAN Sports Radio and a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Kriesel’s drive and motivation were heightened that day in 2006 when he was nearly blown to shreds by a 200-pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq. He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries. He is the author of “STILL STANDING: The Story of SSG John Kriesel,” winner of eight national book awards.

Combat veteran and motivational speaker, John Kriesel.

 

Former National Guard Staff Sergeant, Tim Nelson, who was Kriesel’s roommate and squad leader in Iraq, was in the Humvee seat behind him when it ran over the IED and was also injured. Nelson flew with Kriesel to the military hospital in Balad, Iraq, and held his hand when Kriesel’s survival was in doubt. Nelson received the Purple Heart from this attack.

Minnesota National Guard Sgt. John Kriesel, left, greets Staff Sgt. Tim Nelson after Nelson returned to Camp Douglas, Wis. in 2007. Kriesel and Nelson were in the same vehicle when a roadside bomb blast killed two soldiers and cost Kriesel his legs. (photo courtesy of Twin Cities Pioneer Press)

 

Dedicated Patriots Participate Each Year

Many other veterans were not as “lucky” as Kriesel, Nelson, Chaps and others. “Those veterans are the reason for the “Longest Day of Golf” and why patriots participate each year knowing their efforts are helping to make a positive difference in the lives of veterans who need it,” said Pat Reis, Tournament Director.

This year’s event reached an all-time high in fundraising. Team “Johnny D” led by John Deedrick, whose family has served in the military in past generations and worked in the defense industry, was the leaderboard winner for fundraising. Robert McGinty’s team conquered the most holes played for the day at 132. Many other devoted Longest Day Golfers reinforced the day’s success. Over the last eight years, the Longest Day of Golf for the Troops at Bunker Hills has raised over $165,000.

Wounds After War

Tee It Up for the Troops is a nonprofit that helps veterans heal from the visible and invisible wounds of war that have impacted veteran and their families. “This is a great organization and a great cause,” Chaps tweeted.  “After getting wounded myself, my close Marine friends were a lifeline. That doesn’t stop after service.” 

Thank you to all who participated and for your efforts to make this event a huge success in support of America’s veterans!

 

Crystal Springs Golf Resort – Golf Fundraiser for Veterans 

September 3, 2021, will mark the 15th anniversary of the Tee It Up for the Troops Crystal Springs Golf Resort Event in Sussex County, New Jersey. Besides being a commemorative year of the event’s start, it will also be a remembrance of many special veterans lost, including Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes who has a special connection to this military fundraiser.

Meet This Charity Event Team With A Special Mission

Robbie Younes is the Chief Operating Officer at Crystal Springs Golf Resort and a loyal and generous supporter of this military veterans fundraising event held here each year. He is also the son of  Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes who died unexpectedly just three months ago on March 22, 2021. Brigadier General Younes was a Lebanese Army Pilot trained in the United States at Maxwell Air Force Base and a decorated hero to his country and family. As Allies, the United States and Lebanese Armed Forces forge together to confront the dangers threatening us, particularly the danger of terrorism. Brigadier General Younes will be honored at this Tee It Up for the Troops event as an ally who risked his life for freedom.

Robbie Younes, C.O.O., Crystal Springs Golf Resort and proud son of Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes.

 

Brigadier General Younes’s legacy lives on in his son, Robby, whose dedication and loyalty to our military and veterans is steadfast. Robby is a dynamic, accomplished senior hospitality executive and oversees six properties including two luxury hotels, six golf courses, and multiple food and beverage outlets at Crystal Springs Golf Resort. Younes experienced many hardships in his youth when Lebanon went through a period of turmoil. He came to understand what could be achieved through hard work and ambition.

Robby delivers this same ambition and dedication to helping our American heroes get back on course at this military charity golf tournament. Mediterranean culture and the art of honoring your guests have been passed down through his family for generations and Robby ensures guests have hotel rooms, disabled veterans are catered to and respect is shown to all who served. Robby is proud to support our veterans and active military and we are most fortunate to have him closely connected with this highly successful event.

When reflecting on this year’s military fundraiser that will pay tribute to his father, Robby said, “This golf fundraiser is a major event here at the resort due to my highest respect for the troops and the sacrifices they make. I am the person I am today because of my father who was full of integrity and a fair leader. That is how I run this resort and regard this event.”

There is no better way to bring passion and skill to a charity event than the famous saying “two heads are better than one” Hence, meet Michael Guidice, Event Chair, for the Tee It Up for the Troops Event at Crystal Springs Golf Resort. “As a long-time Vietnam Veteran, I deal with the uncertain effects of PTSD,” Michael explained. “Working to aid others in the same or worse condition helps me with my personal challenges.”

 

Pictured above is Michael Guidice and his wife, Rosemarie, who lead the organization of this successful event.

 

When Michael and co-founder, Debby Campbell, fielded their first military fundraising event fifteen years ago, they had 80 players. Now they average 200 players and even during last year’s COVID slowdown they had 170 participants. Tee It Up for the Troops has been successful in its efforts in New Jersey through the efforts of its organizers, sponsors and wonderful, generous participants.

Michael speaking at the Opening Ceremony with the singing group, Harmony In Motion, behind him.

 

 

The “ladies in red” singing the National Anthem.

 

Impactful Military Fundraising Ideas and Support

To raise more funds and awareness over the years for this veteran charity, the committee has added military fundraising ideas such as auctions, raffles, Master’s memorabilia, course games and a unique meet and greet featuring decorated warriors. “If you have a chance to start one of these military fundraisers or get involved, do it! You will be rewarded by meeting our wounded heroes and spending a round of golf with someone who lost part of themselves for our freedom and our flag,” added Michael.

Proceeds from this local charity tournament in Sussex County, NJ will support critical areas of need, including suicide prevention, veteran employment, PTSD and traumatic brain Injury rehabilitation, family and caregiver support, housing and homelessness, golf and sports rehabilitation, and the Tee It Up for the Troops REUNION that reunites combat veterans with their comrades from the battlefield.

One of the veteran’s foursomes.

 

Hosting a First Class Golf Fundraiser For Veterans

This event is held at Crystal Springs Resort, a spectacular NJ vacation destination, acclaimed as the New York Metro area’s most unique four-season resort. Located in the rolling farmland of the Garden State’s picturesque northwest, this world-class NJ resort is just an hour from New York City.  For more information on this September 3rd event click HERE.

Rest in Peace Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes as we prepare to honor you and your life of military service at this 15th-anniversary charity event. Your son and all the dedicated people associated with this Tee It Up for the Troops event will carry on the mission!

 

 

Turning Pain Into Purpose With The Help of a Veteran Support Organization

Veterans On Course: Patrick Nelson, Turning Pain Into Purpose With The Help of a Veteran Support Organization

Although former Army Staff Sergeant Patrick Nelson experienced great loss while serving in the military, he also found a new sense of purpose and drive that is helping a veterans support organization.  “I don’t think I would be where I am today without Tee It Up for the Troops,” said Patrick. “This military fundraising organization has done so much for me – beyond the golf course. Tee It Up for the Troops has taught me the importance of sharing my story and how it can impact others.”

Finding a Better Future

Having faced a tough childhood and not having any future leadership, Patrick joined the Minnesota National Guard as a junior in high school. The way Patrick saw it, he needed a place to find involvement, love, and accomplishment and this was the military.

Patrick graduated from high school in 2001 and started school at Ridgewater College in Willmar, MN in August.  A few weeks after school started, the attacks of 9/11 happened. Patrick knew that the National Guard would not be the first to be mobilized. Two days after the attacks, he left college and joined the active military.

Patrick served almost seven years in the Army as a paratrooper with the historic 173rd Airborne Brigade, splitting his time between Vicenza, Italy, and Bamberg, Germany. As he rose in the ranks, he went from being a commoner to a howitzer section chief and squad leader.

Patrick has deployed three times for a total of 39 months in support of the Global War on Terrorism. He spent 12 months in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, 12 months in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006, and 15 months in Afghanistan again in 2007 to 2008.

Changing Lives in an Instant

On 8 June 2005, Patrick was wounded by a rocket while conducting a helicopter resupply mission to his small forward operations base (FOB) on the Pakistani border. He and nine other soldiers were standing next to the helicopter when things changed in an instant. Patrick remembers being picked up and slammed to the ground. He remembers hearing an incoming rocket and he dove under the Humvee for cover as rockets impacted all around. As soon as the barrage ended, he crawled out and ran to help other soldiers on the ground. A Marine yelled to Patrick that he had been hit. He turned to look at the back of his uniform which was shredded, blood was pouring out and he was in pain.

Patrick recovering from injuries in Pakistan.

Two soldiers were killed that day, and eight others were wounded, including Patrick. As Patrick says, his wounds were very minor compared to everyone else. The two soldiers literally standing beside him were killed and he left with some small holes in his back.  Patrick was medevacked from the area to receive treatment. They removed several pieces of shrapnel from his back but left some too deep to remove. 

Patrick returned to his FOB in Afghanistan within weeks of being injured. He was not allowed to conduct missions while he was still in recovery. He was also suffering from PTSD symptoms from the attack. Patrick worked with Special Forces and Navy Seals, which meant they had a large Internet connection.  On his own time, he started taking online courses to complete his college degree.

“I was motivated by the fact that no one from my family had ever gone to college let alone graduated from it,” says Patrick. “My platoon leader at the time, Jon Post, was also a huge inspiration and driving force for me to take the classes.”

And drive and determination he had! Patrick double majored in history and sport management, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He also holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Sport Management and the other in Organization Development.

From Soldier to Civilian

Patrick was honorably discharged from the Army in December of 2008. He earned a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart during his service to our country. Patrick and his wife, Shanna, moved back to Minnesota where they are raising three daughters, Hazelyn, Haddie and Haven.

Patrick Nelson Family
Patrick and his wife, Shanna, and their three daughters, Hazelyn, Haddie and Haven.

 

Like most U.S. Veterans, Patrick found the transition to civilian life tough, and to cope with survivor’s guilt and other post-battle symptoms he tried to drink the pain away or wash it away with pills. “I was in a lot of pain physically and became addicted to opioids for five years. It’s a miracle I survived this,” Patrick said. And of course, he found that none of that worked. He learned over time, that he could not change the past, but he could influence the future.

“I had the honor of serving with some of the best our country has to offer, and I’ve made it my mission to share their stories of service and sacrifice,” Patrick explained. “These hero’s stories can have an impact on others and any opportunity I get, I am willing to share their stories and help others. I also carry their legacy through everything I do – from being a husband and father to an advocate for wounded veterans. Sitting idle is not an option when so many have sacrificed for our freedom.”

Now, as a civilian, he has turned his focus to helping others in a different way. He took his story that could connect and influence other veterans and started a combat-related website to help others share their stories. Then he moved to use his personal experiences to help facilitate leadership development for companies. Patrick eventually founded Loyalty Point Leadership,  a leadership training and development consulting firm where today he inspires others to be impactful leaders through his motivational speaking, leadership development, safety leadership, and consulting through this veteran-owned company.

Inspiring Vets with His Story

Off the leadership field, Patrick serves his community by actively volunteering with Tee It Up for the Troops, a veteran support organization that runs golf tournaments to help wounded warriors. “Tee It Up for the Troops is so much more than just golf. I had never swung a club in my life until this organization came into my life. I fell in love with the game – and I am a terrible golfer. But it has provided me the opportunity to remain active and connected with others. They also have great connections and relationships with other veteran-related resources that can always help you find what you might be looking for.” 

Patrick with veteran support organization friends at a recent Tee It Up for the Troops event.

Patrick has faced challenges in his life that many will never have. His time in combat, alongside the other brave men and women he served with, was one of service and sacrifice. These experiences helped to position him as the leader he is today.  

We hope you find a way to support a veteran like Patrick and so many other military heroes like him. You can donate immediately here: Donate Now | Tee It Up for the Troops or consider joining or sponsoring a Tee It Up for the Troops Golf Event here: Local Military Charity Events | Tee It Up for the Troops.

Tee It Up for the Troops – A Highly Rated Military and Veterans Charity Organization!

When people donate to a veterans charity organization, they want to make sure their hard-earned money is making a difference. Tee It Up for the Troops works hard to be a good steward of the funds entrusted to us. One of the best ways to know your donation to Tee It Up for the Troops is making an impact is to review third-party endorsers (nonprofit watchdogs). They provide transparency – so you know that your support is making a positive difference.

Tee It Up for the Troops has received perfect ratings from three national charity evaluators:

national-charity-evaluators

  • Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, provides ratings of financial health and accountability.
  • GreatNonprofits, trusted reviews based on clients, donors, and volunteers.
  • GuideStar, a Gold Seal status for non-profit transparency and accountability from the world’s largest source of non-profit information.

“We are honored to receive these awards and humbled by the generosity of those who support Tee It Up for the Troops,” says Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director for Tee It Up for the Troops. “We vow to continue to be fiscally responsible with every dollar donated.”

Learn More About These Non-Profit Review Organizations

Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator rates organizations on financial health, accountability, and

transparency. Charity Navigator helps highlight what percentage of a monetary donation is going directly to the support of the nonprofit’s mission. Charity Navigator has given Tee It Up for the Troops an Encompass Rating of 100 out of 100! A score of 75 or above indicates that a nonprofit is effective and transparent based on Charity Navigator’s criteria. This means you can give with confidence!

GuideStar

GuideStar provides information on spending and income by providing access to Form 990, which is the basic Internal Revenue Service filing document. We are proud to have received GuideStar’s Gold Rating! Again, you can give with confidence knowing that your donation contributes substantially to our mission to support veterans and their families.

GreatNonprofits

GreatNonprofits is the leading platform for community-sourced stories about nonprofits. These are the stories submitted by people who have first-hand knowledge and experience with the non-profit: veterans, military family members, sponsors, donors, volunteers, and supporters. We were named a “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” and received a five-star rating. There are over 57 current stories regarding Tee It Up for the Troops on their website. We invite you to read through a few of these uplifting stories. You can give with confidence.

We are a veterans charity organization here to help our military veterans with the support and services they so desperately need, and we maximize the value of our resources. Learn more about how we do that here.

Our role is two-fold. One, we are providing critically needed services to veterans and their families to help them achieve a quality of life that they have earned and deserve. That is priority number one. To make that happen, we have to do our absolute best to be fiscally responsible with every dollar entrusted to our organization. Six cents on the dollar takes focus and effort, but without a doubt, our military veterans and their families are worth every bit of effort that we can provide.   – Tim Wegscheid President and Executive Director, Tee It Up for the Troops

Contribute to Our Mission Today

We are very proud of the efficiencies at Tee It Up for the Troops and hope that gives you confidence. Your hard-earned money is making a difference and going to programs that make an impact on veterans and their families.  Contribute to our veteran’s charity organization today online, or take some time to find a local Tee It Up for the Troops event near you to contribute through. We promise to do our absolute best to be good stewards of your support!

Multiply Your Donation With a Matching Gift 

veteran-support-organization

Thousands of employers nationwide offer employees the opportunity to match their charitable gifts. Matching gift programs are one of the wisest ways to increase the value of your donation.Matching gifts are corporate philanthropy programs that reward employees’ charitable donations. Many corporations have matching gift programs and will match your donation to Tee It Up for the Troops, a military veteran support organization. It’s an easy way to double or even triple the impact of your contribution! Gifts from spouses and retirees may also qualify for an employer match.  

These matches can add up for veteran support organizations if you know how to check if your company participates—especially considering that over 18 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs. 

See if your employer will match your donation by searching for your company name here in our Matching Gifts Tools.    

How Do I Apply For a Matching Gift? 

The process is quite simple and quick. To make a matching gift, first, go to the Matching Gifts Tools and search to find your employer. If the company is in our database, select it and you will see the specific instructions and charity donation eligible amounts for your company’s matching gifts process. Next, you make the initial donation. Then you submit a matching gift request, usually through an online giving portal for your company. It takes a few minutes to request the matching gift from your employer. 

Why Do Companies Match Donations? 

More and more companies are offering corporate matching gift programs to prioritize corporate social responsibility or CSR. Companies of all sizes match donations their employees make to local charities because it’s an easy, structured way for them to support good work in their communities. Here are a few more reasons companies participate in matching programs:  

  • To support employee and retiree investments in charitable organizations
  • To empower employees and retirees
  • To enhances the economic vitality of communities

Why Are Employee Matching Programs Important? 

The program is a win-win-win situation for everyone involved. You get to see your donation go twice as far. Veteran support organizations like Tee It Up for the Troops receive twice as many donations for military veterans without asking for another contribution. Your company helps out veteran support organizations like Tee It Up for the Troops that you are passionate about. Through these matching programs, businesses match an employee’s donation to double, or sometimes even triple, the impact. 

Don’t Miss a Matching Gift Opportunity 

Many employees are not aware that their companies offer matching gift programs. Over 75% of eligible donors don’t know that they work for companies with matching gift programs. Unfortunately, only 7% of donors who work for matching gift companies successfully submit a matching gift request. This means that $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue goes unclaimed each year. That kind of money could make a monumental difference for disabled American Veterans. Imagine the impact you could make for veteran support organizations! 

How To Start Multiplying  Your Donation Today! 

Please take a moment to see if your company matches gifts HERE.  A few minutes can double the donation you’ve already made and make a big difference in the lives of veterans and their families. Your donation brings vital services -mental health, suicide prevention, employment, recreation, housing, and family and caregiver support -to military veterans who urgently need support. 


 

Tee It Up for the Troops is grateful for all donations, large and small. We appreciate your generosity! 

 

Unsung Heroes – Our Military Fundraiser Volunteers Help Serve Those Who Serve

military-fundraiser

In the military, giving back is a lifestyle. It’s the ultimate act of service. For our volunteers at Tee It Up for the Troops, being surrounded by military members — whether veterans or active duty — can bring about a sense of patriotism and desire to serve. While not everyone can join the service, volunteering with a military fundraiser organization like Tee It Up for the Troops allows you to give back to the military community in big ways.

Volunteers are the heart of who we are and what we do! We could not do what we do for our veterans and their families if not for the support of our volunteer family!

“I volunteered with this amazing organization for over 8 years!! It was an honor to capture the event through my lens. The staff and volunteers are the absolute best!!! It was an honoring meeting our veterans and seeing what they’ve done to enable them to still be active even with severe disabilities. Many of my favorite photos are from these events!!!!” – Volunteer

Why volunteer for a military fundraiser? Here are a few reasons:

  • Support Veterans in Need- The statistics surrounding veteran suicide, homelessness, and employment show how in need they are of support. Many of these issues feed into each other, meaning veterans need multifaceted help. When you volunteer with Tee It Up for the Troops, you’re supporting our mission to provide comprehensive, well-rounded aid.
  • Connect with Others- Volunteering with a Tee It Up for the Troops event allows you to connect with others who have a passion for helping others and supporting veterans. Make long-term connections with others in your community while supporting a great cause!
  • Have a Direct Impact on Your Community- 50% of the proceeds from a Tee It Up for the Troops event are directed back to the community where the event was held.
  • Grow Your Skills & Learn New Ones- Tee It Up for the Troops events are a great opportunity to grow your intrapersonal and teamwork skills or develop new ones. You can help others while attaining personal growth which you can then parlay into other areas of your life.
  • Act on Your Convictions- You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who would say they don’t appreciate the sacrifices those in the armed service have made. But how many people act on those sentiments? Volunteering with a Tee It Up for the Troops event allows you to have a real impact on veterans in your community and nationally. What better way to express your appreciation than by acting?

“I’ve been involved with Tee It Up the Troops for over eight years. I have seen first-hand how their events have honored many veterans from the WWII era through today’s younger veterans. I have seen first-hand the heart-felt recognition of Gold Star family members. There is more, suffice it to say that very few veteran focused non-profits have a broader reach or impact. And given the high level of volunteer involvement they do it in an incredible level of financial efficiency.” – Volunteer

Tee It Up for the Troops is always looking for dedicated, friendly, and talented volunteers who are interested in supporting our mission and making a difference. By volunteering, you can help support veterans and their families when they need it most. Volunteer assistance can be provided in a variety of ways including:

  • Organize a military fundraiser event in your community or at your club.
  • Support an existing event by helping with marketing, operations, sponsorship, golf logistics, volunteer coordination, public relations, auction/raffle, or fundraising just to name a few.

We encourage you to help us serve our mission on behalf of America’s heroes and their families. To learn more or to get involved as a volunteer, click here.

“Tee It Up for the Troops is a great organization to work with. Their passion, dedication and hard work show in every event across the nation to honor our servicemen and women! This is one nonprofit that every community could benefit from!” – Volunteer

To all our event leaders, committee members, volunteers- we thank you for your kind and generous support in helping us make a difference in the lives of so many American heroes and military families.

We want to recognize the contributions of our AMAZING volunteers across the country. Our dedicated volunteers have devoted over 14,300 volunteer hours – helping us continue to be great stewards of all donations received! Because of our amazing volunteers, we have surpassed 560 events across the country since inception helping to deliver impactful support for military families and connecting veterans to their communities. THANK YOU for giving back and doing good for America’s heroes!

 

“Great organization dedicated to helping veterans through the great game of golf! Well run at local and national levels.” – Volunteer

Veterans and their families have sacrificed so much protecting our country; now it’s our turn to protect them. You have the power to make a difference for veterans in your community. Click here to get involved in a Tee It Up for the Troops military fundraiser today!

Stylin’ and Profilin’ While Supporting Our Veterans with the Patriot Pro Shop

Attention all golfers and golfing families…“Introducing our fully revamped online Patriot Pro Shop!”

Let’s be honest: One of the many fun aspects of playing golf is the dress code. White belts, white shoes, chartreuse shirts, and wild shorts make for some serious peacock strutting down the fairways. Golf attire is often loud and fun, as it should be.

This year, along with wearing the loud, we want to encourage you to wear the proud.

Are you wondering what to wear to this year’s Tee It Up for the Troops golf tournaments? Or do you need some patriotic clothing for Memorial Day, July Fourth, or for the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits Golf Club?

You’re in luck! We have made it easy for you to get your red, white, and blue on with our new brands available now through our online store, the Patriot Pro Shop.

man, child, and woman, standing and wearing 'tee it up for the troops' themed polos and jacketssWe have fully revamped our Patriot Pro Shop to include the Tee It Up for the Troops brands you’ve been asking for! We now have outerwear (rain jackets, vests, and more), expanded headwear (Bora Bora hats, bucket hats, visors, and more), youth apparel, additional accessories (golf balls, coolers, tote bags, and more), and we’re also proud to offer a new line of American-made products.

When you purchase your golf attire and accessories through our Patriot Pro Shop, you are directly supporting U.S. veterans and their families. You can also purchase confidently, knowing that 94 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to supporting our programs, while just six cents on the dollar goes to administrative costs!

When you purchase our Tee It Up for the Troops brand golf wear, you’re helping us advertise and promote one of the most respected charities in the nation. By wearing our brand merchandise, you are creating and promoting awareness of the daily issues that our veterans face. You never know; one day, you might have the perfect volunteer for our organization in your foursome, and he or she might not even be aware of Tee It Up for the Troops and what we do. Branding and marketing matter. And our veterans matter even more.

Yes, our merchandise is about golf attire and accessories, but it’s also about so much more. You can help simply by stylin’ and profilin’ our brands the next time you are out on the links.

And here’s more great news! Our Patriot Pro Shop has e-gift cards! You can purchase the electronic gift card and have it sent to your email address for easy printing and/or forwarding to the recipient of your choice. Then, the receiver of the e-gift card can pick out whatever he or she wants from our Patriot Pro Shop.

You can also purchase your e-gift cards right here at the Patriot Pro Shop. Enjoy free shipping for orders over $75. Orders under $75 dollars are shipped for just $5.95.

We hope you’ll enjoy our all-new Patriot Pro Shop. We’re excited to help you get all your red, white, and blue as well as stars-and-stripes golf gear to make you look great on the course—all the while helping to create awareness of the needs of our military veterans and families.

We can’t wait to see you at our tournaments this year, and thank you for your continued support! Shop here: Patriot Pro Shop

What Charity Events Will You Participate in 2021?

Are you looking ahead to which charity events you might want to participate in this year? What causes will you or your company support and give back to society? Unfortunately, COVID-19 didn’t go away with the coming of a new year. Social distancing recommendations are still in place, and many charitable organizations are rethinking their giving strategies. The ongoing pandemic will prevent the usual in-person galas and other indoor fundraising events for the near future. However, there is one fundraising activity that offers a safe, healthy, socially distanced, outdoor activity during these days of COVID-19 and that is GOLF.

A Good Year for Charity Golf Events

Golf—a naturally social distant sport is the perfect fundraising event for 2021! We have learned through our many events held across the country in 2020 that we can bring golfers, sponsors, and volunteers safely together. Ask any combat veteran and they will tell you—innovation is often the key to survival and to carry out the mission at hand. Their mission being, keeping us safe and free. These days, it is our turn to be innovative and carry out our mission; to honor, remember, respect, and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces of this great nation.

Golf is booming; people want and need to get outdoors. Golfers are ready to play, and sponsors are ready to advertise-so a Tee It Up for the Troops Charity Event is a WIN-WIN for all! We host quality charity events across the nation, held at great golf courses and for a good cause-benefiting our military veterans and their families.

Why Our Golf Events Are a Win-Win

94 cents out of every dollar raised at our Tee It Up for the Troops golf events is invested directly to supporting our veterans. Our pillars of support address every aspect of a veteran’s life.

  • Family and Care Giver Support
  • PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Employment
  • Golf and Sports Rehabilitation.

Other Reasons to Participate in Our Golf Events

  • Our charity events give you the opportunity to meet veterans and hear their stories in a safe, naturally distanced environment.
  • Our charity events can boost the morale of your employees and organization by offering a patriotic cause to support and give back.
  • Playing golf and being outdoors is a great exercise.
  • Golf is accessible to all ages. Everyone can participate, and your participation absolutely makes a difference in the lives of our veterans and their families.

As you plan how you and your company are going to give in 2021, we ask that you please consider joining or sponsoring a Tee It Up for the Troops Golf Event. Most of our events sold out quickly last year, so plan now for sponsorship and attendance or find a local event now.

Whether or not you’re a golfer, you can make a commitment to supporting those who have fought to protect our freedoms. Please consider standing alongside our esteemed list of sponsors. Click here to become a charity sponsor or donate today!

We have high hopes for 2021. Humanity is resilient, strong, innovative, hopeful, and generous. We thank you for your generous contribution and the positive impact you will be making this year.

Charity Fundraising Week includes a NEW Big Break Golf Challenge to Support Disabled Veterans!

Dataw Island Veterans Week

STEP UP for the HEROES challenge supports disabled veteransWith COVID restrictions and a threat of nasty tropical weather, yet an unwavering mission to surpass goals and remain innovative, the Dataw Island Community in South Carolina adjusted, adapted, and achieved during their full Veterans Week of charity fundraising golf events to support disabled veterans!! Due to their perseverance and creativity, Tee It Up for the Troops would like to announce that Dataw Island is the 2020 WINNER of the #StepItUp4Heroes Challenge! This challenge was issued at the on-set of the COVID pandemic when many events were canceled causing the loss of critical fundraising dollars for our American heroes. Congratulations Dataw Island for making a positive difference for our disabled military veterans and their families who STEPPED UP for our freedom!

Dataw initiated a new event this year-The Big Break Dataw Golf Challenge-which had holes set up a little differently and offering unique challenges on two of their courses, the Cotton Dike and Morgan River. With hole names such as “Maintenance Forgot Their Tools” and “Alligator Hole” players’ skills were surely challenged! The Big Break Challenge was a fun and innovative way to bring some new excitement to this fundraising classic!

The week-long event kicked off with the One-Man Marathon Golf Tournament and was proclaimed by the Governor as “Tee It Up for the Troops Day” across the state of South Carolina. Hundreds of people showed up or donated in support of veterans who are wounded or disabled and was led by Dataw Island’s Head Golf Pro, Chris Fearn, who completed the one-man golf marathon in one long day. Chris teed off at 3:30 am and played until dark in order to raise money for veterans through Tee It Up for the Troops.

Last year, Fearn played an amazing 251 holes of golf before raising over $35,000. This year, once all pledges are collected, Fearn will raise more than $40,000 bringing his seven-year total to $200,000! Fearn was able to complete an astounding number of holes (253) with great strokes (55 birdies and 2 eagles) to break his record!

Supporters, primarily members of the private gated community of Dataw Island where Fearn works, pledge their choice of a per-hole amount or a flat amount, with the per-hole serving to encourage Fearn to complete as many holes as his body and daylight can allow. Each birdie and eagle he makes also increases the take, so playing fast and accurately are both goals.

“I have to admit,” said Fearn, “Waking up at 2:45 am and knowing that I’m about to play golf for 14 hours straight, with the first three-plus hours in the dark, is a little daunting, but it’s still a lot of fun since I know it’s for a great cause. Having members and veterans there cheering me on is really what keeps me going. Although it takes me a few days to recover afterward, it’s a small sacrifice that I’m happy to make in the make of Tee It Up for the Troops.”

In years without COVID restrictions, the Dataw Island’s Veterans Week celebrations are more complete with activities such as the flag brigade, a veteran’s march & rally, a veteran’s breakfast, and veterans’ lunch, and guest bartenders. However, this did not hold them back from modifying and “Marching On!” Since this year’s guest of honor was unable to speak in person, a wonderful video was shared. From Roy Brown, Jr. (AKA “JR”) of Ridgeland, SC about his passion for helping veterans.

Dataw Island partnership with Tee It Up for the Troops supports disabled veteransEvent Coordinator, Col. Glenn Blackburn, Ret. US Army, says that the Dataw Island partnership with Tee It Up for the Troops has made this charity event a nationally recognized fundraiser. “The support that Dataw Island shows each year for local and national non-profit service organizations is tremendous. Through sponsoring golf holes at our Veterans Classic, Head Golf Pro Chris Fearn’s golf marathon, and the raffle, residents show amazing support for our wounded and disabled veterans.”

Tim Wegscheid, President and Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops, said “Dataw Island’s Veterans Week traditions, take hard work, imagination, and dedication and we are so grateful for the folks in the Dataw community and local supporters who back our veterans and country. Each year, this wonderful community puts on an amazing display of patriotism and fun golf events! Thank you for your loyal support of our disabled veterans and their families!”

Tee It Up for the Troops salutes event leader Col. Glenn Blackburn, Ret. US Army, Head Golf Pro, Chris Fearn, and the residents and staff of Dataw Island for making Veterans Week 2020 a huge success! Your ability to persevere during COVID and press on given any obstacle in your way to help military veterans and families is astonishing!

Tee It Up for the Troops Named 2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits

Award Based on Outstanding Online Reviews

Tee It Up for the Troops, with their national headquarters in Burnsville, Minn., announced today it has been named a “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits.

Tee It Up for the Troops provides critically needed services to combat veterans and their families and has hosted nearly 550 fundraising events in over 40 states over the last 16 years, allowing the non-profit organization to donate over $11 million to partnering veteran service organizations.

“We are very proud to be recognized by GreatNonprofits as a Top-Rated Nonprofit based on user reviews by our veterans, military family members, sponsors, donors, volunteers, and supporters,” says Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director for Tee It Up for the Troops. “Thank you to our supporters and everyone who shared your Tee It Up for the Troops experience. We are honored by this achievement and dedicated to supporting all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces of our great nation with your help!”

The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that Tee It Up for the Troops received – reviews written by volunteers, donors, and military veterans and family member aid recipients. People posted about their personal experiences with the nonprofit.

For example, one combat veteran wrote, “Tee It Up for the Troops is a great organization. I wish I would’ve found them sooner as golf has played a significant role in my overall mental stability since coming home and transitioning into civilian life.” Another supporter wrote, “An essential organization that works hard to help Veterans of America’s Armed Forces and their families to heal, transition, grow and thrive…they believe in their mission, they achieve their goals and they help veterans in need succeed in life.”

“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. “Tee It Up for the Troop’s award is well-deserved recognition not only of their work but the tremendous support they receive, as shown by the many outstanding reviews they have received from people who have direct experience working with them.”

GreatNonprofits is the leading website where people share stories about their personal experiences on more than 1.6 million charities and nonprofits. The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards are the only awards for nonprofits determined by those who have direct experience with the charities – as donors, volunteers, and recipients of aid.

To read about our five-star ratings, reviews and add your own review if interested, please visit: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/tee-it-up-for-the-troops-inc