JW Marriot members fundraise to donate $20,000 to PGA HOPE
ATLANTIS, FL –
This weekend, the JW Marriott at Marco Island, in conjunction with members of its two courses The Rookery at Marco Island and Hammock Bay Golf and Country Club, hosted 12 PGA HOPE graduates for the first-ever Skins and Fins event.
Skins and Fins was designed to celebrate local veterans for graduating PGA HOPE which provides free golf lessons to veterans as a form of therapy and socialization.
“The purpose of this event was to provide a unique and new experience for PGA HOPE participants and to get our membership involved and celebrate our veterans,” said Chris Major, PGA, General Manager of Golf at the JW Marco Island. “This is an easy way for us to recognize what our veterans have done for us and it’s great that we are able to use the game of golf to do that.”
A dozen PGA HOPE graduates were divided into teams and joined by two members and a PGA Professional for a fishing excursion and an 18-hole scramble. Teams were based on the four program sites of PGA HOPE: Miami, West Palm Beach, Cape Coral and Fort Meyers and competed based on total fish caught and lowest golf score.
Members hosted the veterans on their personal boats and the golf scramble was played on the Hammock Bay course while all guests were housed at the JW Marriott Marco Island Resort. Team Miami came out on top after the two-day competition.
The golf outing was followed by a luncheon where members were invited to learn more about PGA HOPE and how it has positively impacted its participants.
“If you are a veteran and you have the opportunity to be a part of the PGA HOPE program, you need to do it,” said Al Hunter who served in the U.S. Army and graduated from PGA HOPE Miami. “It has enhanced my life because it has gotten me out of the house, socializing with other veterans and PGA Professionals. I am so thankful for the PGA.”
In addition to the outing, members of the JW Marriot’s Rookery and Hammock Bay courses pulled together to fundraise for the PGA HOPE program and through generous donations granted $20,000 to the South Florida PGA Foundation’s PGA HOPE program.
“It was such a great experience to share our home and boat with our nation’s veterans,” said Marco Island resident and JW Marriot members Matt and Jeannie Mauchline. “The whole community of Marco Island came together to help honor these people that serve us.”
PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Golf sessions are offered at no cost to veterans by South Florida PGA Professionals. Learning and playing the game of golf is a proven activity that has helped thousands of military Veterans assimilate back into their community through the social interaction the game of golf provides. Click here
to learn more about PGA HOPE and how you can get involved.
About the South Florida PGA Foundation
The South Florida PGA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded to support the South Florida community, with a focus on junior golf, education and scholarships, and charitable gifting. The South Florida PGA Foundation falls under the direction of the South Florida PGA, a not-for-profit organization comprised of over 1,830 men and women PGA Professionals serving as the experts in business and the game of golf. Over the past thirteen years the Foundation has touched the lives of more than 12,000 individuals residing in South Florida, through various programming included but not limited to junior golf, charitable gifting, scholarships and PGA HOPE.