Folds of Honor Pro-Am Challenge at Rolling Hills

(Photos: Christopher Burns)

Golfers gathered at Rolling Hills Country Club on Monday to tee up for a good cause: the second Annual Folds of Honor Challenge Pro-Am.

The event supported the Folds of Honor Foundation and its mission to provide educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving.

Speaking via phone from Rolling Hills Country Club, Communications Director Elizabeth Ethridge McGann said the event had “an overwhelming response. Our Pro Shop Manager, Bianca Carbone, is still tallying up the donations that are coming in each day.”

While the first annual tournament brought in approximately $35,000, Ms. McGann said this year shattered that number.

“We netted about $90,000, but that could be up or down $2,500 as we are still tallying the expenses and donations are still coming in,” she said.

The day featured a live auction, with the big item being a trip to stay at the Patriot Golf Course near Tulsa, Okla. Designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, the Patriot opened in 2010 and is the home course for the Folds of Honor founder Major Dan Rooney, who is a majority owner of the club.

Major Rooney, a former F-16 pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, has won a collection of awards for his work with the Folds of Honor Foundation, including the White House Presidential Volunteer Service Award. He served three combat duties in Iraq.

The Patriot will soon be the home to the Folds of Honor Foundation headquarters. A percentage of all profits, guest play, as well as member contributions from The Patriot directly benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Speaking about the live auction, which also included round-trip tickets to The Patriot, Ms. McGann called it “very high end.”

On the course, golfers played in five-person groups, with three amateurs, one golf pro, and one military veteran. Ms. McGann said the response to the event has been strong.

“We received so many thank you’s from the military veterans, Ms. McGann said. “Just to be able to share stories of how their support really helped.”

While she is still working on finalizing the details of all of the contributors, she stressed that the support of Rolling Hills was paramount.

“Our membership put so much support into the event and made it a great success,” she said. “Many local businesses in Wilton and golf courses throughout the tri-state contributed.”

The Folds of Honor was founded by Major Rooney in 2007. In a statement, the foundation says it is “rallying a nation to ensure no family is left behind in the fight to preserve American freedom. Through scholarships and other assistance, we give back to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country. We provide healing, hope and an opportunity for dreams to be realized.”

They went on to say that, “as of Jan. 1, 2012, over one million dependents have been adversely affected by multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 87% of the dependents affected by the recent wars do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance.”

To date, more than 2,600 scholarships have been awarded by the foundation.

A full list of sponsors and participants can be found by clicking this link. Rolling Hills Sponsorship list.

Paully Kerner sure has a great swing!