On Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 the Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends Association held its third annual golf outing at Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club. Participating in the event were 136 enthusiastic golfers – a record number. The purpose of the golf outing was to raise money for veterans’ organizations in Hernando and Citrus counties. Even before the final results of the take came in, the amount raised this year was over $32,000. This money came from the golfers’ entry fees, corporate and individual sponsors, raffles and silent auctions, along with miscellaneous donations.
Ron Ford, Dennis Blum and George Friel, as well as many others worked countless hours to put the event together. Gary Gray, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was one of the primary organizers of the golf outing.
“Numerous volunteers from inside the Glen Lakes community spent almost a year working on the event, soliciting hole sponsors and items for the silent auction and raffle, etc. The three organizations we primarily support at the present time are the VFW, American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans,” remarked Gray.
While most of the golfers were from the Tampa Bay area, some came from out of state. Ron Kelly and David Schrabeck traveled all the way from Wisconsin to participate.
“We’re both veterans so we wanted to help support the cause and support Denny [Blum]. He’s actually from my home town and we’ve known each other for a long time. It wasn’t about how we scored; it was about being with friends,” said Kelly.
“We came out for the weather, too. Back home it was 10 degrees,” added Schrabeck. “When the lady sang the National Anthem this morning that was very heart-felt. That started out the day perfectly.”
Judy Blum was in charge of the silent auction and raffle. Several other women worked tirelessly on this phase of the event. An assortment of items were set out to bid on. These included a fishing rod and reel, power tools, gift basket of wines, autographed picture of Brett Favre, and a bicycle.
Tom McCrary, the golf pro at Glen Lakes helped out with getting the score sheets set up. Richard Tubbs, food and beverage manager handled the breakfast and the lunch buffet.
Staff members from Terlep Chiropractic were there to give massages. After five hours on the golf course - from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - the participants probably appreciated that as much as the food and beverages.
The following business were either sponsors or donated items to be raffled and auctioned off:
AccuHear; Citrus Kia; Edgewater Endodontics; Millian-Aire Air Conditioning & Heating; Country Club Golf Cars; Dougherty and Associates; Law Office of Kara Evans; Franklin and Company Accountants; Killingsworth Insurance; O’Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care; Precise Painting LLC; Terlep Chiropractic; Theresa’s Rings ‘N Things; Weeki Wachee Stone Yard; AutoNation Cadillac Port Richey; Florida Tax Advisors; Synovus Bank; Access Health Care; Affordable Golf Carts, American Executive Tax and Financial Services; Crystal Autos; Lowman Law Firm; Revive Medical and Rehab; The Eye Center; A-Z Tree Service; American Legion Brooksville Post 186; Berry Land Farms; Bomhoff Law; The Freezer Tiki Bar; Dan’s Driveway Designs; Discount Garage Doors; Eagle Buick GMC; Florian Insurance; Florida Luxury Realty; Joseph P. Nagy CPA; Clemente, Randolph & Joel Nunang, MD’s; Ralph Paulsen, ReMax Realty, Pinch-a-Penny Pool, Patio & Spa; Sweet Swing Driving Range; the Taylor-Yoopers Family; and Glen Lakes Golf & Country Club.
The Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends Association was founded three years ago. It started with just eight members and now has over one hundred. The group meets monthly at the Glen Lakes Country Club and you do not have to be a veteran to join.
Its main purpose is to help veterans’ organizations that need funds. They also help veterans navigate the bureaucracy of the Veterans Affairs office when applying for benefits. The process can be lengthy and complicated and many veterans do not receive the benefits they’re entitled to.
Ron Ford explained, “Denny and I have met veterans who weren’t getting any help from the veterans services officers. We’ve pointed them in the right direction and they’ve received 100% disability. Our organization has changed their lives from being on the verge of poverty to getting their tax-free pension. We have an attorney who is a disabled veteran who also helps them when the process [of obtaining benefits] gets into a quagmire. He steps in and represents them.”
Ford related one story of a particular veteran that they helped. He was 100% disabled and had three children. His youngest child had died and he needed $1,700 for the funeral. Catholic Services was able to come up with only $400 to help him. Ford vetted him and found that he had a legitimate need, so four members of the organization came up with the rest of the money out of their own pockets.
The Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends Association is already hard at work on next year’s event. Because the outing is non-competitive to a certain extent, you don’t need to be an Arnold Palmer or an Annika Sörenstam to participate.
For general information on the Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends and how to be a sponsor or player next year go to www. glenlakesvets.org. You can also contact Denny Blum at 352-200-8649 or Ron Ford at 906-291-0587.