91.3 F
Spring Hill
Sunday, July 14, 2024
HomeBusiness & CommunityGlen Lakes Veterans and Friends Celebrated Veterans Day with Dual Events

Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends Celebrated Veterans Day with Dual Events

- Advertisement -

Veterans’ Day weekend was a busy one for members of the Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends Association (GLVFA). On Saturday, Nov. 11, they hosted their eighth annual golf scramble. Then, on Sunday, Nov. 12, they held the dedication of their veterans’ memorial.

Dennis Blum, Ron Ford, and George Friel were the three veterans who founded Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends Association in 2016. Its purpose is to raise money to assist veterans and their families. Their primary means of doing this is through their annual golf tournament.

Over the years, they’ve raised approximately $250,000. This year’s take alone was about $40,000 before expenses, bringing their total to about $290,000. They’ve donated these funds to organizations such as the VFW, the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). With this money, the organizations have purchased such items as computers, an air conditioning system and even a van to transport veterans to doctors’ appointments.

Everyone in GLVFA is a volunteer, which means they have no salaries to pay and no overhead. Therefore, the money they raise goes directly to the organizations after expenses are met.

- Advertisement -

Aside from the entry fees for the players, most of the money raised comes from businesses and individuals. This can be as simple as a $50 gift certificate or a set of golf clubs for the silent auction or hole sponsorships. The businesses and individuals that donate get their names listed on the GLVFA website and in other promotional materials. The company also receives a certificate and a sticker they can put in their window stating they are a “veteran-friendly” business.

This year’s sponsors were Chaney Chiropractic; Linda Kay Walker Taylor family; George and Audrey Friel; Wayne and Sandra Millington; Denny and Judy Blum; Air Source Cooling and Heating; DeCristofaro’s Italian Ristorante; Sweet Swing Driving Range; Murphy and Chew (Coco); Edgewater Endodontics, Jim and Alicia Karam; Accent Carpet and Tile; Adams Group Experience Real Estate; Aventura Nursery and Landscaping; American Gun and Pawn; Anytime Fitness Weeki Wachee; AutoNation Cadillac New Port Richey; Senator Blaise Ingoglia; Bob’s Carpet and Flooring; Brian’s Place Restaurant; Ultimate Health Plans; CVA; Cory Jordan; Country Club Cars; Craig W. Krueger Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc.; Crystal Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep; Discount Garage Doors, Inc.; Dan’s Driveway Designs; Eagle Buick GMC; Extreme Pavers, Inc.; Florian Insurance, Inc.; Florida Blue Realty, LLC; Gregory M. Rada, Atty.; HCA Florida Healthcare/Oak Hill Hospital; Holmes Drafting Services; Hartland Homes; Jackson National Life Insurance; Joni Industries; K9 Partners for Patriots; Laurose Lawns, Inc.; Love Honda; Lugo’s Natural Stonework, LLC; Marguerita Grill; Mattress Avenue; Maus Nissan of Brooksville; Marine Corps League 708; Michaels Center for Dental Excellence; Mike Fulford for County Commission; Optimum Health Care; Pinch-a-Penny Pool, Patio, Spa Spring Hill; Polish American Legion; Prime Eighty Eight Restaurant; Register Chevrolet; Roseann Latoria Re-Max Realtor; Steve Alepondeas; The Eye Center/Dr. Joseph Militello; The Freezer Bar and Grille; Marshfield Area Community Foundation/Rick and Nancy Merkel; Historic Sports Art; Charles E. Murray American Legion Post 186; Lynn and Tom Cumm; Hardee’s of Weeki Wachee; FastSigns of Spring Hill; Florida Tax Advisors; Mobility Styles, Inc.; Nate Lewis Handyman; Sheryl Jacoby/All the Best Cleaners; Golinski Tax Advisors; Killingsworth Insurance Agency, Inc.; Dougherty and Associates Investment Advisors, LLC; VFW Post 10209; The Hernando Sun; Ford of Port Richey; and Kara Evans, Attorney.

A major sponsor for the past eight years has been the owners of Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club. They allow GLVFA to use the golf course free of charge. They also supply golf carts to those players who don’t have their own. Many Glen Lakes residents also lend their golf carts to golfers for the day.

Approximately 140 golfers participated in the scramble. Most were local, but some came from out of state to play. Many make it a yearly tradition. The consensus among the golfers is that they’re in the tournament for the camaraderie, to have a good time and to help support a worthy cause. They aren’t necessarily in it to win, although that’s a nice bonus.

The following day, Sunday, Nov. 12, a large crowd turned out for the Veterans Memorial dedication just inside the Glen Lakes entrance. This ceremony was the culmination of almost two years’ worth of effort, from the initial work on the design in March 2022, securing donations to fund the $50,000 project, and negotiations with contractors, to the actual building of the memorial, which includes a paved area, benches, flag poles flying the United States flag and those of all the armed services and stone markers with the insignias of each of the military branches.

There are four core values and reasons behind the construction of the memorial: reflection, honor, remembrance, and recognition. The memorial provides a place for veterans and visitors to reflect on the service of our military men and women. It also serves as a means to honor and remember our veterans. Lastly, the monument recognizes the sacrifices our men and women have made to serve their country.

Dicky Keane and Mike Fulford, co-directors of the project, with the help of volunteers and several local businesses, turned this dream into reality. For example, Nick Holmes with Holmes Drafting Services donated the design of the memorial. Lugo’s Natural Stonework donated two granite benches valued at $8,000. They also fabricated and installed the stone pedestals for the flagpoles and the memorial markers that sit at the foot of each flagpole. Extreme Pavers installed the pavers in the Garden of Honor. American Legion Post 186 donated flags.

Prior to the official start of the dedication, talented bagpiper James Freeman played patriotic music. Then, the color guard raised the American flag. Mike Fulford, Master of Ceremonies of the event, introduced Dominique Martens, who sang “God Bless America,” after which everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Although the memorial itself is finished, one portion is still in the completion phase, and that is the purchasing, engraving and installation of the memorial bricks for the “Garden of Honor.” There is room for only 450 red bricks. Currently, almost half have been sold. The cost per brick is $120. Individuals, groups or businesses can purchase a brick (or bricks) to honor friends or relatives who have served in the military. When you purchase the brick, you can have a three-line inscription put on it stating the person’s name, the branch of the military they served in and when they served or similar information.

To order memorial bricks, go to www.glenlakesvets.org. The website’s diligent webmaster, Mike Cummings, is constantly updating it. Some of what you can find on the website is information about the organization, pictures and videos of recent events, original graphic art by Cummings, a list of donors and sponsors, and a calendar of events.

Although the 2023 golf outing was a huge success, the members of GLVFA are not resting on their laurels. They are already planning next year’s event. Anyone interested in being a sponsor or donating items for their silent auction or raffle can contact one of the board members listed on the website. And if you like to golf and want to support a good cause, be sure to sign up early because spaces go fast!

- Advertisment -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.

Most Popular