In an effort to support severly injured veterans of the Iran and Afghanistan wars, the Independence Fund is hosting the inaugural Healing Heroes of Golf Week this week at four area golf courses.
Area golfers will have the opportunity to play a round of golf that will help pay for a ParaMobile, a $17,000 device designed to allow wounded veterans to stand and play golf.
"Our goal is simply to make their lives better," event organizer Robert de Treville said.
Golfers who pay the $75 entry fee will be joined in their foursome by one of roughly two dozen wounded veterans participating this week.
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Monday's round will be at the Callawassie Island Club; Tuesday's at Lady's Island Country Club. On Thursday, the golf will be at Sanctuary Golf Club on Cat Island and Friday's round will be played at the Fripp Island Ocean Point Links.
The fee covers cart, greens fees, prizes and snacks. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. each day with a shotgun start for scramble at noon. Each round is limited to 100 golfers.
According to de Treville, Monday's round at Callawassie is full, while Friday's round at Sanctuary is close. But golfers are needed for Tuesday's round at Lady's Island and Thursday's round at Sanctuary.
"We could really use some help at Lady's Island and Cat (Island). Whatever happens though, it'll be fun," said de Treville, who said golfers could register as late as the night before a round and could pay at the course if they email him ahead of time to reserve their spot.
There will be a banquet Tuesday at the Hampton Hall clubhouse in Bluffton, where Bryan Anderson, an Iraq war veteran, triple amputee and author of "No Turning Back," will share his story. A silent auction will feature numerous golf-related memorabilia items, as well as rounds at the top Lowcountry golf courses.
On Wednesday, Tony Royal and David Cargile of Bay Street Outfitters in Beaufort will host a fly-tying clinic for wounded veterans. This will be therapy for veterans with brain injuries, and the veterans will be able to sell any flies they make in the future, once they learn the trade.
"This will help them to make money at the same time they're geting therapy," de Treville said. "It will make them feel like they are contributing to their families and their lives. They're going to be healing their whole lives."
Brad Clayton, a PGA teaching pro who is missing his right arm, will conduct clinics at 11:15 a.m. before Thursday and Friday's rounds.
Event organizers are not financially compensated, and all proceeds will go to benefit wounded troops. After paying for the ParaMobile Device, de Treville hopes they can work toward the purchase of an iBot chair, a mobile device that can climb stairs and also allow wounded and paralyzed veterans to reach top shelves and cabinets.
"It gives them a real enhancement in their quality of life," de Treville said. "Nobody's doing, in my honest opinion, what they should be doing to take care of these young men who have given so much."
HEALING HEROES OF GOLF WEEK
Cost: $75; all proceeds benefit the Independence Fund, an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization run by combat veterans
Monday: Callawassie Island (full)
Tuesday: Lady's Island Country Club
Thursday: Sanctuary Golf Course, Cat Island
Friday: Fripp Island Ocean Point Links
To register: www.HealingHeroesGolfWeek.com
Banquet: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Hampton Hall clubhouse; Cost $60, $30 to sponsor a veteran. Contact Judy Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-919-1362, Judy Larkin at Judydlarkin1@aol.com or 843-689-3685 or Donna Frankoski at email@example.com or 843-757-7494.
Details: Robert de Treville at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-379-8877