Jack Nicklaus Named 2014 Honorary Chairman of Patriot Golf Day
(OWASSO, Okla.) – Golf facilities across the country will host special events and collect donations this Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1) for Patriot Golf Day, the primary fundraiser for Folds of Honor, a charitable organization that provides educational scholarships and assistance to the families of military members disabled or killed in service to our country.
“For the past seven years, the golf industry has supported Folds of Honor in positively impacting the lives of our American heroes by helping their families realize their educational dreams,” said Major Dan Rooney, Folds of Honor founder. “We encourage golfers across the country to hit the links this Labor Day weekend and pay tribute to our military and the sacrifices they make to preserve our freedoms.”
Patriot Golf Day was launched in 2007 and is jointly supported by the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association (USGA). Jack Nicklaus serves as the 2014 Honorary Chairman of Patriot Golf Day.
“I’m proud to serve as Honorary Chairman for Patriot Golf Day, as this is an effort that speaks volumes about how the game of golf and the people who play it rally to support a cause that greatly impacts the families of the service men and women who have sacrificed life and limb for our country,” said Nicklaus, a long-time supporter of causes aimed to support disabled veterans, including the donation of his time to renovate and expand American Lake Veterans Golf Course near Tacoma, Wash. “For what these heroes have given to us and for us, I consider it an honor and privilege to be involved with Folds of Honor.”
Nicklaus will appear on FOX & Friends Aug. 29 at 7:50 a.m. EST alongside Major Rooney and PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua to discuss Patriot Golf Day and Folds of Honor at the Golden Bear’s Florida home club, The Bear’s Club in Jupiter. Rooney will also appear at 6:30 a.m. EST with Folds of Honor scholarship recipient and nursing student Kallie Santos. Santos’ father, Richard Santos, was a decorated United States Navy Vietnam Veteran who was diagnosed with metastatic cancer to the brain related to Agent Orange and passed away in April 2000.
Last year, a record amount of more than $5 million was raised for Folds of Honor through Patriot Golf Day donations and events hosted by PGA Professionals. Since its inception, Folds of Honor has awarded more than 7,500 educational scholarships to military families. Thanks to donations received through Patriot Golf Day events and partner support, more than 2,050 scholarships totaling over $10 million were awarded in 2014.
Major Rooney, a PGA Professional, USGA Member and former F-16 military pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, founded Folds of Honor in 2007 following his second of three tours of duty in Iraq. Rooney witnessed a profound display of a family’s grief as they welcomed home the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin, inspiring him to create the organization and honor Bucklin’s son, Jacob, with the first Folds of Honor scholarship. An annual award was named in honor of Corporal Bucklin and Jack Nicklaus was the 2013 recipient, joining the likes of President George H. W. Bush.
As of January 2014, there are more than 1.4 million dependents of fallen and wounded service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts alone, and 85 percent do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance.* Folds of Honor’s mission is to ensure that no family is left behind in the field of battle, by honoring their sacrifice and educating their legacy.
*Source: Veterans Administration
About Folds of Honor:
Folds of Honor was founded in May 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 Fighter Pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, PGA Professional, and USGA member. Based in Owasso, Okla., Folds of Honor is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to empower military families by providing educational scholarships and assistance for the children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation. Since its inception, Folds of Honor has awarded more than 7,500 educational scholarships to military families. For more information or to make a donation, visit FoldsofHonor.org. Connect with Folds of Honor on Facebook (www.facebook.com/foldsofhonor) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/foldsofhonor).