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Inaugural Patriot Cup Set for Memorial Day Weekend at New Patriot GC
The Folds of Honor Foundation is hosting the inaugural Patriot Cup on May 30-31 in Tulsa, Okla. The event will feature two days of golf at the just-opened Patriot Golf Club, including a celebrity pro-am on Monday with some of the leading PGA and LPGA Tour players.
The Patriot Cup will culminate with an invitation-only gala on Memorial Day at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino where native Oklahoman Vince Gill will perform and former President George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, will receive the first-ever Corporal Brock Bucklin Patriot Award.
"The Patriot Cup will be two inspiring days of golf and country," said Major Dan Rooney, F-16 Fighter Pilot, Tulsa resident and founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation. "This tournament is being supported by people and organizations committed to honoring the sacrifice of all of our nation's military heroes by ensuring that their families have educational opportunities."
The event benefits Tulsa-based Folds of Honor, which was founded by Rooney in 2007 to provide post-secondary scholarships to the spouses and dependents of soldiers killed or disabled in combat. To date, Folds of Honor has raised more than $5.3 million and awarded more than 1,000 scholarships.
"We have come a long way in a short amount of time. However, with 142,000 dependents that have had a family member killed or disabled while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and 85 percent of whom do not receive any federal education assistances, we've got a long way to go," added Rooney.
On May 30, PGA professionals and their guests from around the country will play the Patriot. On the following day, the Patriot Cup Celebrity Pro/Am will be played. Some of the Tour players who have committed include Bo Van Pelt, Todd Hamilton, Loren Roberts, Mark O'Meara, Peter Jacobsen and Hunter Mahan.
Following play, the gala will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Emceed by Golf Channel personality Rich Lerner, the event will be highlighted by the presentation of the Corporal Brock Bucklin Patriot Award to former President Bush in honor of his service to the country. Country music star Vince Gill and his band are donating their time to provide entertainment for the evening in honor of our great military service men and women.
This event will also mark the official opening of the Patriot Golf Club, a Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed layout. Each hole of the course carries the name of a great patriot, including George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright Brothers, to name a few.
During the weekend, Folds of Honor will officially open its new headquarters adjacent to the Patriot Golf Club. The Associated Builders and Contractors of Oklahoma donated labor and materials to build the facility, the Oxley Foundation donated the property, and contributions from the Tulsa community completed the needed funding to construct the building. Each day at 1 p.m., the Foundation bell will ring 13 times, signifying the 13 folds that form the triangle shape of the flag. At this time, all on the property will pause to remember that freedom is not free.
About the Folds of Honor Foundation
Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in May 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 Fighter Pilot, PGA professional, and USGA member. A decorated military pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, Major Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq.
It was after his second tour, while a passenger on a commercial flight, that Major Rooney witnessed an event that would profoundly change his life. As the plane landed, the pilot announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have an American hero on board - Corporal Brock Bucklin. And his twin brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq. As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Corporal Bucklin's family receives him in his final homecoming."
Major Rooney watched through the window of the plane as the flag-draped casket was lowered. He saw a family waiting for Brock, and a little four-year old boy waiting for his father. This tragic homecoming inspired Major Rooney to create the Folds of Honor Foundation.
The Foundation's signature fundraiser is the annual Patriot Golf Day, held at thousands of participating golf courses over Labor Day Weekend, which raises money for scholarships for the families of military members killed or disabled in service to their country. Over the past three years, Patriot Golf Day events have raised more than $5.4 million and Folds of Honor has awarded more than 1,100 scholarships.
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