PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, will conduct the 2021 PGA HOPE National Golf & Wellness Week at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, Oct. 14-18.
Through a partnership between PGA REACH and Congressional Country Club, a group of Veterans who have graduated from their local PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program, and were nominated by their respective PGA Sections, will participate in the four-day program, which provides advanced golf instruction and wellness training. Each participating Veteran will receive a specially designed golf and wellness tool kit that includes golf training tips and wellness exercises designed to promote and sustain a healthy and active lifestyle.
PGA HOPE is a national program that introduces golf to Veterans to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. PGA HOPE helps Veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game provides. Led by PGA Professionals, the program is offered at no cost to Veterans, and there are currently 165 PGA HOPE Chapters across the country, positively impacting more than 3,500 Veterans annually.
Congressional Country Club’s PGA Director of Athletics Jason Epstein and his PGA Member staff will be joined by Judy Alvarez, PGA/LPGA, the PGA HOPE National Lead Trainer, to provide the golf instruction for PGA HOPE National Golf & Wellness Week. The wellness and healthy living training will be conducted by leaders in Veteran health care from Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) in Stamford, Connecticut. The overall curriculum will cover topics including, public speaking, stress management, mental health and life skills.
“It’s rewarding to see these amazing heroes experience PGA HOPE National Golf & Wellness Week and then take the lessons learned back to their respective PGA Section to inspire more Veterans to participate in PGA HOPE programs that are led by PGA Professionals,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson. “This is such a meaningful program, and nothing is more powerful than hearing from military Veterans that PGA HOPE saved their lives and gave them purpose again.”
After serving as 2019 PGA HOPE Ambassadors, Squad Leaders Casey Dorrell and Will Stockholm will lead and inspire the new team of Veterans on their journey to becoming PGA HOPE Ambassadors.
2021 PGA HOPE Ambassadors
Casey Dorrell: Delta Squad Leader | PGA HOPE Southwest Ambassador | Class of 2019
Will Stockholm: Sierra Squad Leader| PGA HOPE Northern California Ambassador |Class of 2019
Sergio Avendano U.S. Air Force | PGA HOPE Southern Texas
Waco Blakley U.S. Marine Corps & U.S. Air Force| PGA HOPE South Central
Shawn Donald U.S. Marine Corps | PGA HOPE Nebraska
Kevin Farrell U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Southern Ohio
Jared Fears U.S Marine Corps | PGA HOPE Minnesota
Thomas Gilmore U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Georgia
Paul Hauck U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Northern Texas
Harold Hill U.S. Coast Guard (Reserve) | PGA HOPE Carolinas
Jennifer Lewis U.S. Marine Corps | PGA HOPE New England
Rhonda Liddell U.S. Navy | PGA HOPE Northeastern NY
Deborah Martinez-Garibay U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Southwest
Ralph Mayo Jr. U.S. Marine Corps & U.S. Army (Reserve) | PGA HOPE Connecticut
James Nelson U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Illinois
Jennifer Nunez U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Kentucky
Christina Olivarez U.S. Army | PGA HOPE South Florida
Gerry Ortiz U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Philadelphia
Gabriel Potter U.S. Marine Corps| PGA HOPE Middle Atlantic
John Reissenweber U.S. Army | PGA HOPE Northern California
Jared Forest U.S. Air Force | PGA HOPE New Jersey
Scott Smalter U.S. Navy | PGA HOPE Western New York
World Golf Hall of famer, 3-time Major Champion and Vietnam Veteran Larry Nelson will be a special guest on-site during the program. The final day will include a golf event at Congressional Country Club, where the Veterans will tee it up with PGA Professionals, participating dignitaries and corporate partners prior to returning to their home markets where they will serve as Ambassadors for PGA HOPE.
The week will also serve as a prelude to the 4th PGA National Day of HOPE that will occur on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11. The PGA National Day of HOPE celebration has two goals: Commemorate our nation’s heroes who protect our freedom, and raise awareness and support for PGA HOPE, the flagship military program for PGA REACH. For information on PGA National Day of HOPE activities and PGA Section activations, please visit the OneCause fundraising campaign page at https://p2p.onecause.com/pga-ndoh-2021
“Congressional Country Club is incredibly proud to host PGA HOPE programming, as we see first-hand the immeasurable benefits this program provides Military Veterans,” said Greg Laubach, President, Congressional Country Club. “These Veterans are America’s heroes, and each have sacrificed for our great Country. PGA HOPE, through the community and game of golf, is a way for Congressional to recognize and start to repay those who have given so much.”
For more information on PGA HOPE National Golf & Wellness Week and PGA National Day of HOPE or to make a donation, visit PGAREACH.org