2009 Patriot Golf Day Raises More Than $1.9 Million

After more than 4,400 golf facilities across the country registered to participate in this year's third annual Patriot Golf Day, $1.9 million was raised to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Patriot Golf Day, jointly supported by the PGA of America and the USGA, is the primary fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation. A total of 569 educational scholarships have been awarded by the Folds of Honor Foundation in the last two years.

Patriot Golf Day was originated by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 pilot, PGA pro and USGA member from Broken Arrow, Okla., who has served three tours of duty in Iraq. During Labor Day weekend at participating courses nationwide, golfers were asked to donate at least $1 for each round of golf. As a supporter of Patriot Golf Day, American Express donated an additional $100,000 to support the Folds of Honor Foundation by matching donations.

In the last three years, PGA professionals and USGA members have been instrumental in raising more than $5.1 million in Patriot Golf Days at their facilities. The inaugural Patriot Golf Day was held September 1, 2007, and resulted in donations of more than $1.1 million. The second event was held over Labor Day weekend in 2008 raised more than $2.1 million, including donations of $130,000 from Captain Paul Azinger and the 12 members of the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup Team.

"It is so rewarding to see that 569 children and/or spouses of those who have been killed or injured due to their military service are getting educational opportunities, thanks to the selfless fundraising efforts of our PGA Professionals, USGA Members and amateur golfers across the country," said PGA of America president Jim Remy. "The game of golf raises $3.5 billion each year for various charities and the PGA of America is proud to be able to promote and support the mission of the Folds of Honor."

Among the fundraising efforts, the Carolinas PGA Section raised more than $145,000 at its facilities with the Country Club of Sapphire Valley in Cashiers, N.C., turning in more than $20,000. PGA professional Abe Hernandez of Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas raised more than $22,000 by selling $50 raffle tickets for an opportunity to win a 2009 Victory Kingpin motorcycle featuring the signatures from many of the most prominent sports stars in Dallas, along with PGA Tour players Justin Leonard, Anthony Kim, Adam Scott and 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain Corey Pavin.

"The Northern Texas PGA Section believed in what I was doing," Hernandez said. "With the support and encouragement of Royal Oaks Head Professional Randy Smith and our club members, I knew that this would be a big year."

Fundraising also hit the open road for a unique added initiative, October 25, with PGA professionals representing 13 PGA sections raising $80,000 for the Folds of Honor Foundation and section charitable foundations as competitors in the 34th Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. More than 21,000 runners competed in the Marine Corps Marathon, including a contingent of 26 runners, 16 of which were PGA professionals, their family members and friends.

For those interested in contributing to the Folds of Honor Foundation or scholarship applicants, visit www.FoldsofHonor.com.