Military Missions in Action’s Tee Off for the Troops isn’t just another golf tournament. It’s a tribute to veterans.
The organization will host its fourth annual Tee Off for the Troops on Sunday and Monday at Bentwinds Golf and Country Club.
“It’s all about Veterans Day,” Mike Dorman, founder and executive director of MMIA, said.
The tournament has grown significantly since its start from 118 golfers to an estimated 300 this year.
Dorman said he expects about 500 people at the 30-minute opening ceremony before a World War II veteran from Pearl Harbor tees off.
“I think it’s the opening ceremony that makes it different and makes it special,” Dorman said.
The American Legion riders will begin the ceremony. Fuquay’s own Michelle Braxton will perform the National Anthem and local West Point graduate and serviceman Adam McCombs will be the guest speaker on Sunday. McCombs served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Robert Senter will take part in a wreath laying ceremony and eight to 10 WWII veterans will be recognized. It all culminates with the tee off at 11 a.m. in honor of the signing of the armistice.
Miss North Carolina Arlie Honeycutt will be at the event and retired Army Brig. Gen. Tony Tata will be the guest speaker before the second day of the tournament.
Although the tournament will span across two days, Dorman said it will be like having two tournaments back to back. The golfers from Sunday will end their game that evening and receive awards and another group will tee off on Monday.
When the tournament began in 2009, House Autry Mills became a Silver Star sponsor. But this year, the North Carolina business committed to three years as the tournament’s title sponsor, making a major donation to MMIA.
House Autry Mills’ Chief Executive Officer Craig Hagood is a former member of the 82nd Airborne and expressed a lot of interest in the local organization that renovates homes for disabled North Carolina veterans.
“We feel they can promote what we do and we can promote their products,” Dorman said. “We just thought that would be a good fit.”
Want to be a part of the action? MMIA is taking $50 donations for honorary and memorial signs that will be up along the golf course. Anyone wanting an “In Memory of” or “In Honor of,” sign posted can find information by contacting MMIA at email@example.com or 919-552-1603. Those interested also can stop by the MMIA office, located at 411-B North Judd Parkway, NE in Fuquay-Varina.
Information for signs with photos will be due by Thursday and those without photos will be due by Friday at noon.
Signs will be returned to families after the tournament.
“It’s a different way to honor your loved one on Veterans Day,” Dorman said.
MMIA began in 2008 and has since invested $2 million in service projects for disabled veterans. The organization has sent 8,500 care packages to active duty troops stationed overseas.
“The need is much greater than I ever thought it would be,” Dorman said.
Last year, the MMIA took in only $140,000, but completed more than $980,000 in work. Only two percent of the money that came in went to administrative expenses.
Dorman said the ability to complete so many projects comes from the amazing support of the community.
“The volunteers are the heart and soul of the organization,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.