Playing 100 Holes for Heroes —
In a Single “ Veterans ” Day ! by Ann E . Butenas , contributing writer
If y o u know anything about the game of golf — especially if you are familiar with the Midwest Section PGA and its Foundation — then you understand golf is not just a game . It is a means through which connections are made , relationships are built , and legacies are created . The game ’ s mechanics are merely the tools used to elevate the sport to a platform of giving back . With its three pillars of service — youth , military , and community — the Foundation is a charitable entity devoted to golf and the growth of the game while simultaneously lending a helping hand to others using golf as the driving force . A noteworthy example of this is the 100 Holes for Heroes event that teed up this past November on Veterans Day .
“ I joined the Foundation Board to help improve my fellow veterans ’ lives through golf ,” he said . “ Since the events this year that primarily fund our programs have been adversely affected by the pandemic , 100 holes of golf on Veterans Day is a brilliant way to fill some of the void while paying tribute [ to these veterans ].”
After Hileman explained the Foundation ’ s mission and supported programs to friends and colleagues , the response to help was more than he ever expected .
“ The outpouring of support from across the country shows our cause is just and is needed more than ever ,” said Hileman . “ I look forward to 100 holes with my fellow Board members and kickstarting support for our veterans in 2021 .”
Foundation President and Midwest Section PGA member , Andy Fisher , echoed Hileman ’ s sentiments .
“ Because the Pro Am was canceled earlier this year because of Covid-19 , this event is our biggest fundraiser this year and takes its place on our radar as an additional opportunity to raise extra funds for the veteran arm of our Foundation . Standing as a flagship event , this now offers another avenue for fundraising and to identify a specific cause ,” he said . While the Midwest Section PGA has promoted this event in the past , this year ’ s celebration presented more of a rebranding and a focused launch . It also added an extra layer of motivation spurred by the global events of 2020 that Fisher is eager to carry over into next year and beyond .
“ We are excited about expanding this event to also include first responders [ as beneficiaries of funds raised ],” said Fisher .
Daniel Brazzell videos Brad Demo ( left ) and Nick Vasos going live about the 100 Holes for Heroes at Drumm Farms on Veterans Day .
A tradition started in 2007 by golf enthusiast Carl Meyer in Milwaukee , WI , this event is a unique fundraiser dedicated to helping veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment . Participants typically solicit pledges based on the number of holes they play throughout this event , with the goal to be 100 holes in one single day . Foundation board member Derek Hileman , also a veteran , appreciates how the game of golf stands as a vehicle to improve the lives of those who have selflessly served our country .
PGA HOPE ( Helping Our Patriots Everywhere ) Ambassador for the Midwest Section PGA , Daniel Brazell , veteran and President of Team Fidelis , takes his role of promoting the game of golf to other veterans seriously . He participated in the PGA HOPE program , which greatly helped him on his journey to wellness , and he has since used his enthusiasm for the program and the game to inspire and encourage other veterans .
“ My job is to promote the PGA HOPE program to veterans and get them engaged in the game of golf as part of their therapy ,” he explained . “ Many veterans tend to isolate themselves , so I enjoy taking them out with me to play and getting them involved with the game and to enjoy the camaraderie with each other .”
10 December 2020 TEE TIMES GOLF GUIDE