When it comes to charitable giving, we know it’s important that you, as a donor or supporter, know you are giving to a top-rated charity- one where you trust the mission, integrity, and financial responsibility of the organization. Tee It Up for the Troops is proud to announce that it has once again received a coveted Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator.
Charity Navigator rates organizations on four key beacons: impact and results, accountability and finance, leadership and adaptability, and culture and community. As a top-rated charity, Tee It Up for the Troops earned a 100% for the Accountability & Finance beacon, leadership and adaptability, and culture and community. Charity Navigator has not yet developed an algorithm to estimate Tee It Up for the Troop’s programmatic impact.
According to Charity Navigator, receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that an organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.
Check out our top-rated charity profile on Charity Navigator HERE.
Charity Navigator helps highlight what percentage of a monetary donation is going directly to the support of a top-rated charity and 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!
In addition to Charity Navigator, top-rated charity Tee It Up for the Troops, has received the highest level of recognition offered by highly regarded “non-profit watchdogs” including GreatNonprofits and GuideStar.
This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Tee It Up for the Troops and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust. As a valued supporter, you can have trust and confidence that we will be excellent stewards of your money.
Top-rated charity Tee It Up for the Troops has once again earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar.The Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStarindicates that a non-profit shares clear and essential information with the public about its goals, strategies, capabilities, and achievements that highlight the difference the organization is making in the world.
Tee It Up for the Troops is committed to transparency and fiscal responsibility. We are pleased to earn a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.
“I encourage you to visit our nonprofit profile on GuideStar to see what we’re all about,” says Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops. “We’re thrilled once again to receive the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The associated benefits help us communicate our organization’s exciting initiatives and demonstrate transparency.”
The Platinum Seal of Transparency demonstrates Tee It Up for the Troop’s exceptional trustworthiness, financial strength, fiscal management best practices, and tangible successful outcomes in its mission as a veterans’ support organization to honor, remember, respect, and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces for this great nation.
Here is one of Tee It Up for the Troops’ external reviews you can view on GuideStar:
“An Iraq war battle buddy of mine reached out to me and asked if me and my wife would like to participate in a golf outing with him. It had been over 10 years since I had last seen him in Iraq. Of course I said yes. It turned out to be a wonderful and healing event.
Tee it up for the Troops provided everything, including round trip airfare, lodging, meals, golf, and the opportunity to reunite with my old friend and meet new ones. As a disabled veteran, it can sometimes be difficult to open up and talk about some of the things that we experienced. Tee it up for the Troops provided a wonderful, comfortable, and fun atmosphere to provide a healing experience. A wonderful and excellent organization.”
“It’s great teaming up with E-Z-GO and the Fisher House Foundation and working together to make our heroes’ lives better,” said Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director for Tee It Up for the Troops. “I truly believe our veterans and their families are entitled to be taken care of, and donating these vehicles is just one way we do that.”
For the last eleven years, Tee It Up for the Troops and E-Z-GO, in partnership with E-Z-GO distributor Versatile Vehicles of Prior Lake, Minn., has delivered several vehicles a year to Fisher Houses across the nation. The first was delivered to the Augusta VA Medical Center in Georgia in 2012, with others reaching the East Coast’s Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, the West Coast’s Camp Pendleton in California, and midwestern Fisher Houses in Milwaukee, Wisc. and Minneapolis, Minnesota. This month, Tee It Up for the Troops Donates the 25th Golf Cart to the Fisher House Foundation with the destination of Fisher House of Columbia, South Carolina.
Fisher Houses are beautiful homes built and donated by the Fisher House Foundation to the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These homes enable family members to stay free of charge and be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an injury, illness, or disease.
The customized and street-ready golf carts will allow patients and their family members to travel from the veteran’s hospital where they are receiving treatment to their local Fisher House or other therapeutic areas without getting in and out of a vehicle or navigating large parking areas.
Tee It Up for the Troops partners with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., the manufacturer of E-Z-GO vehicles, to donate these customized vehicles to each new Fisher House.
“Tee It Up for the Troops has been there for us and has provided a vehicle to every one of our houses on a VA property that has needed one,” said Brian Gawne, Vice President of Community Relations for Fisher House Foundation. “Parking and getting around on a VA campus is always a challenge, and some families are not mobile. Thanks to Tee It Up for the Troops and E-Z-GO, these cars are a godsend when families are facing a tough medical crisis.”
“Electric shuttles that are quiet and efficient can take a whole family or injured warfighter from a Fisher House around the campus to receive therapy or see a doctor,” said Brandon Haddock, Director, Communications at Textron Specialized Vehicles. “The vehicles can traverse facility paths, parking lots, and even into the entry of a VA hospital. It’s great to see how excited people are about the shuttles and to give the veterans something they really need.”
“These stretch electric shuttles, which can comfortably accommodate six passengers, are customized with many added features for the comfort and safety of veterans,” said Gaby Accad, owner of Versatile Vehicles, whose distributorship customizes many of the Fisher House vehicles. Additions include safety lights, turn signals, a rear seat that can convert to a flatbed to carry a wheelchair or other equipment, and a retractable windshield to block wind and rain.
Accad works with local companies to donate custom features, including red, white, and blue premium seats embroidered with the Tee It Up for the Troops logo, decals that are applied to the custom-painted cars, and shipping of the cars at donated or reduced rates to their destination.
For the past 11 years, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted REUNION, a veteran outreach initiative where wounded vets find healing and hope on and off the golf course. REUNION reunites battle buddies who were separated due to battlefield injuries. Through REUNION, combat warriors reconnect with those they trust most, experience healing, and develop new relationships and support networks, helping them with their ongoing transition from the battlefield to the home front.
Hometown, High School, and Warrior Buddies – Dan Thiesfeld, and Nick Kimmel – Reunite at REUNION
“I almost teared up just giving him a hug because I haven’t seen him in forever. It meant so much. Just to be here at this event, to see all these people and hear all their stories is just amazing,” said one warrior attendee.
Click below to watch the emotional video of how our 2023 wounded vets find healing and hope on and off the golf course at REUNION.
Many valued non-profit partners “stepped up to the tee” at REUNION by participating in the Non-Profit Partner Resource Expo. Throughout REUNION, our non-profit partners each bring unique resources that are introduced and available for veterans and their families.
Most of these partners also send combat veterans to experience the healing and hope that comes from attending REUNION. These wounded vets find healing and hope on and off the golf course
Below is a list of the wonderful non-profit partners who brought support to REUNION and links to their organizations.
The Tee It Up for the Troops Desert Mountain Golf Club Event in Arizona, like all our military charity events, honors both our fallen soldiers and those Gold Star Families left behind. This particular event brought healing and involvement for one Gold Star Mother.
Vicki Dryer’s son, Corey, was only in the Army for a little over a year. During his first deployment to Afghanistan, he was killed in action about two months into his assignment. “Before Corey left for deployment, he had a talk with me to prepare me,” Vicki stated. “He knew he was going to a really bad place. He said ‘Mom, everyone will move on…my wife, my sisters, others …except you Mom.’ He would be so surprised at all the people, including those he served with, that will always carry him and his story forward.”
Vicki started working at the Desert Mountain Golf Club after Corey’s death when she was feeling the early stages of intense grief. “I was really, really struggling,” said Vicki. “My husband encouraged me to get out of the house and off the computer.” She had never been on a golf course before, but a friend drove the beverage cart and encouraged her to apply at the Desert Mountain Golf Club. During the interview, Vicki told the golf course personnel that she was seriously grieving over the loss of her son, but that she was honest, hard-working, and could learn just about anything. She was hired and started out driving the beverage cart, but soon was doing a little bit of everything around the club. When the first Tee It Up for the Troops golf charity event came to Desert Mountain in May of 2022, everyone at the club agreed that Vicki needed to be involved.
Vicki, who finds her way forward by getting involved to honor and support all those who have sacrificed so much to serve our nation, was instrumental in getting the first Desert Mountain event off the ground.
In the military, there’s a saying “no man left behind.” At Tee It Up for the Troops, we want to let Gold Star Families know they won’t be left behind either.
Gold Star Families are the surviving family members of military personnel who died while on active duty. During our golf events’ open ceremonies, we provide an opportunity for Gold Star families to honor their loved ones and fallen warriors.
Vicki, a proud Gold Star Mother, honored her son, Corey, at our Desert Mountain Golf Club Charity Event in Phoenix, AZ last May. PFC John Corey Johnson died on May 27, 2011, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
Vicki organized many aspects of the patriotic event, including the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders arriving at the event with flags waving on their motorcycles, elements of the opening ceremony, including an Honor Guard, and a wreath-laying by Gold Star Families. Vicki will tell you that the most important thing she did in helping to organize the golf charity event for military veterans was “wearing the hat.” “For months leading up to the event, I wore that Tee It Up for the Troops golf hat and talked to everyone I could about the event,” Vicki explained.
“Getting involved in the Tee It Up for the Troops Desert Mountain Golf Club event brought me additional healing and great joy,” Vicki said. “People who find great joy in life, give back. I had taken a break from giving back and after examining my happiness, I figured that I needed to show love and give back.”
“Being a volunteer and getting intrenched with this charity helped me immensely,” Vicki added. “The Tee It Up for the Troops event is truly unique. It honors our military and fallen soldiers in a very patriotic way, but it’s not all somber like some remembrance events. It was great to see everyone having fun on the golf course and how everyone was enjoying themselves.”
PFC John Corey Johnson, 28, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in March of 2011. This was during a very heightened conflict time with the Taliban and al-Qaeda shortly after Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Forces. Insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire, killing Corey.
Six other members of Corey’s battalion were also killed in action during this conflict. Sadly, three additional members of his unit would die by suicide.
On Mother’s Day in 2011, from Afghanistan, Corey sent his mom, Vicki, a dozen roses, a gift box of Shari’s Berries, and a card. Corey joked with his stepfather, “Beat that Dryer…all the way from Afghanistan!” Nineteen days later Corey was killed in action.
When asked for the three things Vicki would want others to know about her son, Corey, she replied:
“He was a defender of his sisters, his mom, and his family. He always took care of all things good.”
“He was funny. He would hide in strange places and jump out and scare me.”
“He was unique. He was a redneck – that was my pet name for him. I told him he could not get a tattoo unless it was a tattoo for his mom. At 18 he got a tattoo that read ‘redneck.’ He called it his ‘mom tattoo.’ He also had his daughter, McKena’s feet from her birth certificate tattooed on his chest. Those baby feet left a lasting impression on the men who cut his uniform off and performed medical attention to try to keep him alive.”
Corey’s awards and decorations include the Army the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
It is the ultimate sacrifice that Corey and others have made on behalf of their country that we remember and honor at Tee It Up for the Troops golf events. “It’s really important as a nation to remember that Afghanistan was the longest war in American history,” said Vicki. The effects of this war are generational. Our work and our gratitude are never done.”
Please take a moment to watch the Desert Mountain event video below. It’s an impactful patriotic video reminding all of us of the blessings and freedoms we have due to the service and sacrifices of our amazing military men and women.
As we enter a New Year we want to celebrate everything that YOU have helped Tee It Up for the Troops achieve. Because of your commitment to HELP VETERANS GET BACK ON COURSE, here are a few highlights of what we accomplished TOGETHER in 2022!
Exceeded over $13 million in charitable donations since 2005 to directly assist combat veterans and their families.
We accomplished together great ratings and impressed the Non-Profit Watchdogs with these awards:
Tee It Up for the Troops has been honored once again with a 2022 Top-Rated Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits! Read inspiring stories about our impact HERE!
Your Commitment to Volunteering
We accomplished together the success of many events and you devoted over 19,015 volunteer hours – helping us continue to be very efficient stewards of all donations received!
Celebrated the 10th Anniversary of REUNION! Over those years, more than 400 combat veterans were reunited with their battle buddies. This supports the VA’s research that these reunions make a significant impact in helping combat veterans heal and transition to civilian life.
2022 Charity Golf Events We Accomplished Together
Hosted 658 events since inception, helping deliver impactful support for military families and connecting veterans to their communities.
2022 saw 5 NEW events added in Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, Arizona, and other SOLD OUT events across the USA!
We are truly HONORED and THANKFUL that each of you chose TEE IT UP FOR THE TROOPS to partner with to HELP VETERANS HEAL!
Get That Warm Glow with an End-of-Year Gift and Support Veterans
Would you like to bring joy by helping others in need around the holidays? Then please consider a year-end, tax-deductible gift to support courageous military veterans – heroes like US Army Veteran Danielle Green.
US Army Veteran Danielle Green
Atop a police station, she was guarding in Iraq, Danielle lost an arm during a rocket-propelled grenade attack. She suffered many other injuries and had a lengthy rehabilitation to cope with.
“My prosthetic arm gives me the ability to function as an able-bodied person just like most individuals on the golf course. The ability to engage and find comfort with others on the course is what makes me feel alive,” says Danielle.
Our non-profit organization provides support for Golf and Sports Rehabilitation, as well as other critical areas of need, including Suicide Prevention,PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries, Employment, Housing/ Homelessness, and Family/Caregiver Support.
Give online and check to see if your employer will match your gift below.
Be a Part of Something Life-Changing with Your Support
What could be better than playing signature golf courses in Florida in January? How about an even better feeling of interacting with some of America’s combat veterans, while helping them to heal and get back on course?
Tee It Up for the Troops is seeking additional corporate sponsors for our REUNION event to assist in reuniting combat veterans who were separated due to battlefield situations. We are also seeking individual donations to support warriors and caregivers who want to attend this event.
REUNION Supports Combat Veterans and Their Caregivers
Our signature REUNION event offers sponsors an opportunity to gain positive exposure while helping warriors with the hidden wounds of war like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Please click below to learn how to support these American heroes.
November is National Veterans and Military Families Month – a perfect month to honor and thank those who served our nation in uniform. November 11 is Veterans Day, a day when we honor and give thanks to those who have served our country in war or peace. Military Family Appreciation Month is an opportunity to recognize the sacrifices and contributions military families make that many times goes unnoticed.
Honoring Veterans – A Message from our President
As we commemorate our veterans and their families, we honor the individuals who have served our country for generations — those who served out of honor, duty, and love for their country, and some who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Our organization will always honor, remember, respect and support these America’s heroes. And we thank you, our supporters, for doing the same!
Hurricane Ian Relief Fund for Veterans
Veterans Day is a time to honor, remember, and give back. Tee It Up for the Troops has established a Hurricane Ian Relief Fund to give back to veterans, military members, and their families in regions of Florida that were significantly impacted by Hurricane Ian.
We are currently working with vetted veteran service organizations that are getting critically needed supplies (water, food, clothing, generators, fuel, temporary housing, lost wages, etc.) directly into the hands of these American heroes who need our help.
We feel so strongly about this urgent need that Tee It Up for the Troops will match every dollar donated to this fund up to $25,000.
Tee It Up for the Troops, a national non-profit supporting all those who serve(d) in the United States Armed Forces, announced the establishment of a Hurricane Ian Relief Fund to specifically support veterans and military members impacted by the devastation Hurricane Ian left in its path.
Every dollar donated to the Hurricane Ian Relief Fund will be matched by Tee It Up for the Troops up to $25,000.
Your gift to the Hurricane Ian Relief Fund will go to military members and their families in regions of Florida that were significantly affected by Hurricane Ian. We are currently working with vetted organizations that are getting the most critically needed supplies (water, food, generators, fuel, temporary housing, clothing, etc.) directly into the hands of these American heroes who need our help.
Over 1.5 million veterans make Florida their home and the state has the 5th highest population of active-duty personnel and reserve members in the military’s five armed services. Now thousands are displaced, homeless and unsure where they’ll live or get their next meal. Our veterans and military members fought for this country and served us all so we can have a better life. Now many have lost everything and it’s our turn to help them.
Tee It Up for the Troops is currently accepting tax-deductible donations through its secure website. Many corporations also have matching gift programs that will match your individual donation. To donate or learn more about this Hurricane Ian Relief Fund, visit: https://teeitupforthetroops.org/hurricane-ian/
Patriot Day and National Day of Service & Remembrance – September 11th
As a part of Tee It Up for the Troops mission, we honor, remember, respect, and support the service and sacrifice of our military veterans and their families. That’s why on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, we encourage all Americans to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who served and those who were called to serve due to the events on September 11, 2001.
In honor of Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance 2022, please join us to support U.S. military service members who have been wounded and injured in defense of our nation’s freedoms. Since our inception in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted more than 600 charity golf events in over 40 states. So there are always plenty of opportunities to express your appreciation for those heroes who serve our nation.
Serve and Remember Any Day of the Year
You do not need to plan your National Day of Service or get involved exactly on 9/11 of this year. Instead, commit today and show respect for our nation’s heroes on Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, next year on 9/11, or any day of the year. Let our courageous service members, veterans, and their families know that someone does care. To honor our nation’s heroes, you could sponsor, volunteer, or donate.
How to Serve
Honor our heroes by participating in a Tee It Up for the Troops event. Find an Event
Remember the lives of those impacted by 9/11 by volunteering to start an event in your community or at your club. Start an Event
Tee It Up for the Troops provides support for six critical areas of need for veterans and their families: Golf and Sports Rehabilitation, Suicide Prevention, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries, Employment, Housing/Homelessness, and Family/Caregiver Support.
Honoring military heroes who were impacted due to the events on and following September 11, 2001, is a way you can spread kindness and comfort to veterans and their families.