Patriot Tradition Alive and Growing
It just keeps getting bigger and better.
The eighth annual staging of The Patriot Foundation’s major fundraising finale at National Golf Club is scheduled for Sept. 17-19 and includes a 54-hole Sunbelt Senior Tour event with a 36-hole pro-am.
But the golf is more of a sideshow here than the main event. The pro-am and the Saturday night dinner are more of a thank you and job well done to sponsors and fundraisers than anything else.
Despite a struggling economy, The Patriot Foundation continues to increase its charitable contributions. More than $319,000 was raised last year and Chuck Deleot is expecting this year’s donation to be close to that, or maybe more.
“The big money will come in between now and the end of the year,” he said. “Hardee’s Restaurants are running a five-week coupon promotion that will help tremendously.
“Boddie-Noell Enter-prises and Hardee’s teamed up for a promo last year for the first time but had only 24 stores participating. This year there are 248 stores involved.”
The Patriot is aiding five charities this year, four with scholarships, according to Deleot, including Special Ops, the 82nd Airborne, the 18th Airborne Corps and the Warrior Transition Battalion.
The WTB is a holding unit of 600-700 badly wounded soldiers, many of whom are being processed for discharge from the Army due to their injuries.
“Mike Girimont, a member of The Patriot board of directors, and his wife, Boydie, have been very generous with their time and money to make life better for our soldiers’ families,” Deleot said.
“One example is that Mike learned there was a need for bottled water at the battalion and that the WTB couldn’t purchase it because of an Army regulation. He arranged for Albemarle Oil Company to donate 30 cases of water a month to the Fort Bragg Warrior Transition Battalion and he puts the water in his pickup and delivers it to the WTB each month. He also cooked for the WTB at their summer picnic.”
It’s through the work of people such as Girimont that The Patriot has been so successful and continues to grow.
Deleot, who serves as president and chairman of The Patriot Foundation, has been involved since it was begun eight years ago when Pinehurst resident Spike Smith came up with the idea.
Amateurs will form teams with the Sunbelt professionals during the first two rounds of the tournament, which concludes on Sunday. Several of the Sunbelt players will be competing at The Champions Tour event in Cary that week.
The honoree at the Saturday night banquet will be the Honorable John McHugh, Secretary of the Army, according to Deleot.
“There will be several generals there,” Deleot said, “including the commanding general of Fort Bragg.”
Pat McGowan, of Southern Pines, a former PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and member of the Champions Tour, will conduct a clinic on Friday and the Golden Knights Parachute Team will make a jump. The 82nd Airborne Chorus will perform at National Golf Club that night.
“This was started as a golf tournament to raise money for our charities,” Deleot said. “We never envisioned it getting this big. Now, maybe this year, or certainly next, we’ll exceed $1 million in contributions. That’s impressive.”
Deleot stresses that none of this would have been possible if not for the work of dedicated volunteers and a list of impressive sponsors that includes Wal-Mart, Folds of Honor Foundation, BB&T, Restaurant Management Group, Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Hardee’s Food Systems, Shell Oil/Alco, Prism Medical, Peter Milar, MTN Government Services, and private family foundation.
Anyone wishing to make a contribution or obtain more information can write Patriot Foundation, P.O. Box 5069, Pinehurst, NC, 28374, or visit the Web site at www.patriotscholarships.com. The Patriot is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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