Enhancing Patriot Golf Day

Sara-BushSara Bush is the PGA head professional at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington N.C.

Our facility has always supported Patriot Golf Day, the program started by F-16 fighter pilot and PGA Professional Dan Rooney to help raise scholarship money for children of fallen and wounded service members. Starting in 2011, however, we decided to go above and beyond, and tried to raise even more money for Folds of Honor and become one of the best fundraisers in the nation. That year we came up with the idea of a golf marathon, where the professional staff played golf all day and our members pledged a specific dollar amount per every hole completed. In all, 508 holes were played and more than $21,000 was raised. Last year we took it to the next level, adding in a Patriot Fitness Day, where members pledged money for each mile run by our staff. More than 100 miles were run, 554 holes played and we netted more than $28,000. In both years we were ranked in the Top 25 in the country for most funds raised during Patriot Golf Day. It’s a program that we’re very proud of, both because of the participation and generosity from our members and for the fact that we can help the most deserving of families. In addition it helps to bond everyone, including staff, professionals and members, together, as they are doing something for the greater good.

Sara Bush on the business impact of taking Patriot Golf Day to the next level:
As with anything that serves our troops, it’s sometimes the intangible benefits that matter more than any tangible ones. Each year when a club is named in the Top 25, they receive a great plaque from Folds of Honor, the foundation Major Rooney started. This year it was a folded American flag, which we proudly display under last year’s medallion in our clubhouse. We offer an American Express gift card via a raffle for anyone who gives $500 or whose pledge amount reaches that threshold, so it becomes almost a friendly competition as to who can help these deserving families the most. We also make videos that we send to our members, the local media, our Section headquarters and the Folds of Honor so they know the faces behind the endeavor. In 2012, the Carolinas PGA Section was the top-performing Section for Patriot Golf Day with donations in excess of $535,000 and we were the fourth-ranked facility in the Carolinas. It’s figures like those and days like Patriot Golf Day that not only helps build our membership, but also make it stronger, and assists the best of the best while having a lot of fun.