American Lake Veterans GC Receives $60,000 Grant

The Ben B. Cheney Foundation of Tacoma has awarded a $60,000 grant to the Friends of American Lake Veterans Golf Course in nearby Lakewood, Wash. The gift will assist with completing the Rehabilitation and Learning Center, which opened earlier this year.

"The Cheney Foundation was among the first to support the mission of the "Friends," said Harold "Pepper" Roberts, founder and president of the organization that serves as the nonprofit fundraising arm for the unique facility.

"During the past five years, the generous gifts from this foundation have been instrumental in helping us with many projects. This support is greatly appreciated by the veterans and wounded warriors who use the course and practice facilities, as well as by the 180-plus volunteers who maintain and operate American Lake Veterans Golf Course."

ALVGC is in the midst of a multi-million-dollar campaign to expand and enhance the facility, which encompasses the only golf course in the country designed specifically for wounded and disabled veterans. Last year, Jack Nicklaus donated his design services to create nine new holes and to enhance the accessibility of the existing nine-hole track. With that contribution, the "Friends" embarked on a campaign to raise $3 million for construction-related costs.

Roberts said they now have the land and they've raised about one-fourth of the goal. They hope to break ground when contributions reach the $2 million mark.

ALVGC is situated on 377 acres in Lakewood, near Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, American Lake Division. In 2004, volunteers established the Friends of American Lake Veterans Golf Course, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, to assist with improvements, repairs, care and maintenance of the course.

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