|Judy Alvarez, PGA - 2019 PGA National Patriot Award Recipient
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|David McNulty, PGA - 2019 South Florida PGA Section Patriot Award Recipient
|Allen Manguson - 2020 South Florida PGA Section Patriot Award Recipient
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Christina Olivarez - 2021
Retired Army Sergeant Christina Olivarez will be headed to Washington DC this fall to serve as our next south Florida HOPE Ambassador. Christina graduated from the South Florida PGA HOPE program in 2019 and has served as an informal PGA HOPE ambassador ever since. She has enjoyed spending time with other veterans who understand the dark hole veterans can find themselves in and falling in love with the game of golf together creates a comradery that only HOPE Graduates can understand.
Christina along with 19 other veterans to Washington DC, for four days to receive a tool kit of new skills focused on adaptive golf instruction and impactful wellness training. These veterans will experience instruction from the most respected PGA members, wellness instruction from the Cohen Veteran Network and get to engage with golf's most iconic figures and share their personal stories and how they have been impacted both on and off the course.
Mary Anderson-Kokell - 2019Army Specialist, Mary Anderson-Kokell was selected to represent south Florida as a PGA HOPE Ambassador for the life-changing program Helping Our Patriots Everywhere. Mary participated in one of the first PGA HOPE programs in 2015. Since then, Mary has proven the life-changing power of PGA HOPE. Mary was selected based on the impact this program had on her life and the impact she had on her fellow veterans. Mary participated in the inaugural National Health & Wellness Week in presented by PGA REACH in Washington DC. Each participating Veteran received a specially designed golf and wellness tool kit that included golf training tips, exercises and other recommendations for healthy living. Each new PGA HOPE Ambassador will now represent their respective PGA of America Section and support their fellow Veterans in communities across the country during PGA HOPE clinics and training programs.
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|Click HERE now to hear the personal testimonies of two PGA HOPE graduates.
“The PGA HOPE Program has been beneficial to so many veterans in so many ways. Being a recreation therapist for 32 years, I know the benefits of sports and recreation. It is when a veteran sees the benefit of participating that changes their lives. This program allows veterans an opportunity to work with one another with the built-in comradery they share in a community environment. Getting out of the house, interacting with others and learning or re-learning a leisure skill can change a veteran’s whole outlook on things and break a cycle of isolation, boredom, low self-esteem and inactivity. The natural environment of a golf course and the caring and compassionate PGA instructors who interact with the veterans each week provide therapy to these veterans on many levels. I’m fortunate to partner with such an organization in fulfilling the needs of our disabled veterans.”
- Eileen Jones, Former Chief of Recreation Therapy at West Palm Beach VA
|“The [PGA HOPE] Golf Program was inspiring to meet fellow vets and PGA Professionals. The Veterans are fortunate to have such an opportunity, outside of the box of a typical PTSD therapy session. It gave us a chance to get out of the house and enjoy not only the sport but the beautiful greenery, blue skies and awesome surroundings. Mentally and physically the program was rewarding and gave us other venues to relieve depression and socialize with others. The sponsors from the VA and PGA HOPE program were sensitive, caring, understanding and very supportive to each of the Veteran’s physical and mental health challenges. It was beyond the general support group, but rather a feeling of normalcy on networking and healing at the same time. Thank you!”
- PGA HOPE 2016 Participant
|“The PGA HOPE program has been spectacular for me and everyone I know that’s gone through it. I used to play golf and I hadn’t played for some years. And I didn’t think I’d ever play again because I had lost my leg. I found out about this program and John Moscoso (one of the PGA Professionals) was the first one to work with me. I got the call asking if I would volunteer, and I had the time to do it… and that’s what I have been doing ever since. It’s been very rewarding working with other veterans. It’s allowed me to get back into the sport I started when I was 10 or 11 years old. And it feels good to be out playing… and it’s very satisfying watching these [new participants] grow in the sport. Eventually, we hope to have our tournaments together.”
- Julian Newbauer, PGA HOPE 2015 Participant
One of the purposes of PGA HOPE is to inspire a lifelong interest in golf for our participating veterans. To foster growth in their new skills and love for the game, we coordinate with local PGA Professionals to provide extra golfing opportunities to our participating and graduated veterans. We plan to list some of these opportunities here below once we organize all of the information provided.
National Golfing Opportunities for PGA HOPE Graduates
- Click HERE now for the list of offers
|To watch our virtual sessions with Cohen Veteran's Network and to attain the supplemental resources, click on the links below.
Session 1: Watch Now
To view the slides presented in Session 1 click HERE now.
Session 2: Watch Now / Part 1 / Part 2
To view the slides presented in Session 2 click HERE now.
To review the SMART Goals worksheet click HERE now.
|Click on the logo to learn more about #HOPEfromHOME.|
|Click on the image above to see more footage from our PGA HOPE programming.||Watch local news coverage of one of our PGA HOPE graduations in Fort Myers.||Local News coverage of PGA HOPE at Mirasol CC in 2018 can be found above.|
|Click on the image above to watch news coverage from one of our first programs in south Florida.||Judy Alvarez, PGA changing lives of veterans on a national level.||PGA HOPE Classic raises $55,000 each year to support our life-changing programs. Click to watch more.|
|40,000 push-ups for $40,00 for PGA HOPE, click to watch news coverage of Rob Torrington striving for this goal.||Check out our YouTube channel to see how our veterans have been positively affected by PGA HOPE.||Watch some local media coverage of our PGA HOPE program in Boca Raton.|
|Watch TV coverage from a PGA HOPE graduation in Boca Raton.||Read how some of our veterans celebrated Veteran's Day with the Golden Bear.|