The third annual PGA REACH Minnesota’s 100 Holes for HOPE and Heroes charity event was held Thursday, June 18 at Mount Frontenac Golf Course in Frontenac, Minn. There were 204 birdies made by 11 participants, generating just over $13,000 in pledges and donations. The golfers consisted of 9 PGA Professionals and 2 Minnesota military veterans.
The first group to finish was Minnesota Section PGA President Mark Foley, PGA and Scott McDonald, PGA, who finished their 100th hole in 6 hours and 59 minutes. That averages out to just over 4 minutes per hole.
The goal of 100 Holes for HOPE and Heroes is to raise funds for PGA REACH Minnesota’s veteran rehabilitation program, PGA HOPE, which stands for Helping Our Patriots Everywhere. The program is open to all veterans and is a 6-8 week golf clinic built to help them learn and play golf in a safe, adaptive, therapeutic environment with other veterans. All HOPE Chapters are taught under direction of PGA Professionals, who are trained on teaching golf to veterans who may have barriers to traditional golf because of physical, emotional, mental, or PTSD challenges.
The amount raised from this year’s event will cover the cost for an estimated 28 veterans to participate in the 6-8 week program. These funds allow the veterans to participate free of charge. The Minnesota Section is proud to have 7 established chapters throughout Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and parts of Western Wisconsin. We are looking to grow that number in the coming years as well.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s event saw a few changes. Traditionally titled “100 Holes for HOPE”, this year the Minnesota PGA and PGA REACH Minnesota added the “and Heroes” to the title to reflect the added efforts to collect Personal Protective Equipment for health care workers and first responders, as well as splitting some of the proceeds between first responder, medical, and other COVID-19 response efforts. The event was able to collect just over 500 masks that will be donated to local hospitals and clinics.
“We knew we wanted to hold this event again this year, as it’s a great form of awareness for the struggles of our military veterans.” Minnesota Section PGA CEO Jeff “JD” Drimel, PGA said. “But when COVID-19 became a larger issue as we began the planning process, we thought this would be a perfect platform to recognize and try to assist the other heroes in our lives: the first responders, medical workers, and others on the front lines of this epidemic. We are not only donating a portion of the proceeds to these heroes but also collected much needed PPE for them as well.”
Thank you to Treasure Island Resort and Casino, the Prairie Island Indian Community, Mount Frontenac Golf Course, and the Klick Foundation for their continued support and assistance of this event.
Pictures of the event, player profiles, and funds raised can all be found on the 100 Holes for HOPE and Heroes website.
If you are a veteran and are interested in participating, or know a veteran who may be interested in participating in a PGA HOPE Chapter, please contact Catherine Wagner at the Minnesota Section PGA. You do not need to have any golf experience to join and we accept all playing and physical abilities.