Organizations and individuals interested in becoming a sponsor for the 6th annual Family & Golf Outing at Kensington are asked to click here or call/email Kelsie Dodier at 617-726-8373; firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, March 11, Kensington Golf and Country Club will be the site of the 6th Annual Family & Golf Outing, benefiting Home Base programs in Southwest Florida. Proceeds from the scramble-format tournament, hosted by Naples resident, 4-Star U.S. Army General (ret) Fred Franks, will enable Post-9/11 Veterans and Service Members to participate in Home Base’s Warrior Health & Fitness Program in Southwest Florida and the two-week Intensive Clinical Program (ICP) in Boston, MA.
“In our five-person scramble, there is at least one Veteran, on every single team,” Home Base Southwest Florida Program Manager Armando Hernandez and Post-9/11 Marine Corps Veteran said of the Kensington model. Leading up to the event, participating Veterans participate in several golf clinics led by Kensington head golf professional and PGA’s Dick Erick, whose father served in World War II.
In addition to the scramble-format tournament, the event will offer activities for all ages, including pool games, crafts, and an array of barbecue food options for golfers and their families. An evening cocktail reception, which is open to the public, will take place in the Kensington Dining Room and will feature Home Base Southwest Florida Veteran testimonials, and a formal announcement of golf tournament winners.
Franks, a 4-Star U.S. Army General who served in the Vietnam War has organized this fundraiser with the support of Naples community members for the past 6 years, and says helping “the next greatest generation” readjust to life back at home, is a matter of fulfilling trust. “Our annual golf tournament at Kensington is Southwest Florida teamwork in action, fulfilling a trust to our volunteer Veterans that we would be there for them when their military service was complete,” he said. “There is a great need for the services Home Base provides – not all trauma of war or service is physical or apparent, and many of our returning soldiers need care and support.”
Naples resident and Veteran Karter Elliott is one of those returning soldiers who enrolled in the Southwest Florida Warrior Health and Fitness Program and will be on the golf course come March 11. He was in the Marine Corps from 2002-13 and participated in five Iraq campaigns and one in Afghanistan. He says he found a network of support from other Veterans in the Southwest Florida Warrior Health & Fitness Program, which helped ease his reintegration into civilian life. “The physical change was great, but I thought some of the longer lasting impacts that I didn’t expect were the bonds, and the friendships and some of the camaraderie that I had missed – all came back.”
The Warrior Health & Fitness Program is also a conduit to clinical care available in the Boston area. “Some Veterans may not have the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, but they may be feeling one of the associated symptoms like social anxiety, sadness or irritability,” said Hernandez. “We hope, that with our Warrior Health & Fitness Program, those mental battles become easier to deal with, but if a Veteran needs a higher level of care, we can directly connect them to experts at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston – at no cost to them.”
For more information on how you can get involved with Home Base’s annual Family & Golf Outing at Kensington, click here.
To download this year’s event flyer, click here.