Imperial Headwear Partners with Tee It Up for the Troops!

Bourbon, MO – Imperial Headwear, the #1 headwear brand for Private and Resort golf facilities as reported by the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) in their Member Survey the last 3 consecutive years, announced a new partnership with national veterans non-profit, Tee It Up for the Troops (TIUFTT).

Imperial will become an “Official Headwear Partner of Tee It Up for the Troops” under the new agreement, and provide custom branded headwear for TIUFTT tournament participants and welcome packages.

“Tee It Up for the Troops is very appreciative of our partnership with Imperial Headwear,” said Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director of TIUFTT. “Imperial’s quality is second to none and we are excited that they are joining us in our mission to honor and support our United States veterans.”

Many TIUFTT tournaments across the country will be offering custom TIUFTT branded headwear by Imperial as tee gifts to their participants this season. Imperial will also be offering an online-exclusive collection of TIUFTT headwear on their website – ImperialSports.com – with a portion of proceeds given back to TIUFTT, which since its inception in 2005 has donated over $9 million to more than 325 veterans service organizations.

“Tee It Up for the Troops is doing terrific things for our active duty service members and our veterans,” said David Shaffer, VP Sales & Marketing at Imperial Headwear. “Imperial is happy to support them in their mission.”

Click here to view and shop the limited edition TIUFTT Collection: imperialsports.com/product-category/tee-it-up-for-the-troops

Jeff Morgan Joins National Board of Tee It Up for the Troops

Alexandria, VA – Club Managers Association of America and The Club Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morgan, FASAE, CAE, has been invited to join the Board of Directors for Tee It Up for the Troops for a three-year term. Tee It Up for the Troops is a non-profit organization committed to honor, respect, remember, and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces for the United States.

Since October 1, 2014, Morgan has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) and The Club Foundation (CF). He is an association executive who has held various executive management positions in trade and professional associations for more than 25 years. A Pennsylvania native, Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in Business with a focus on finance and technology from Susquehanna University and a master of science in nonprofit management. Morgan is a Certified Association Executive and a member and Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives.

CMAA and CF have been longtime contributors and supporters to Tee It Up for the Troops. Since 2008, The Club Foundation has donated more than $128,000 to support its mission. Individually, many CMAA members have hosted TIUFTT fundraising events at their clubs around the country, as profiled in Club Management magazine.

Tim Wegscheid, Tee It Up for the Troops President and Executive Director, shared: “We are pleased to add Jeff to our organization and are confident that his skills, areas of expertise, and significant connections will make us a stronger organization as we strive to honor and support America’s military heroes!”

Jeff Morgan, FASAE, CAE, added “I’m honored to share my talents to benefit this great organization and help to further the mission to honor, remember, respect, and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces for our great nation.”

Media Contacts: 
CMAA and The Club Foundation – Melissa Low, melissa.low@cmaa.org
Tee It Up for the Troops – Tim Wegscheid, tim@teeitupforthetroops.org

About CMAA and The Club Foundation

Club Management Association of AmericaThe Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) is the largest professional association for managers of membership clubs with 6,800 members throughout the US and internationally. Our managers lead more than 2,500 country, golf, athletic, city, faculty, military, town, and yacht clubs. The objectives of the association are to promote relationships between club management professionals and other similar professions; to encourage the education and advancement of members; and to provide the resources needed for club managers to operate efficiently and successfully. CMAA is headquartered in Alexandria, VA, with 43 professional chapters and more than 45 student chapters and colonies. Learn more at cmaa.org.

The Club Foundation

The Club Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established by CMAA in 1988. The Foundation seeks to fund the life cycle of a club manager’s career, providing financial support for five key areas: students, faculty, club managers, CMAA chapters and the club industry at large. It supports the advancement of club management professionals, funding industry education programs through scholarships and grants. Learn more at clubfoundation.org.

Adaptive Golf: A new mission for wounded warriors

A donation was made to the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation to support their Adaptive Golf program on Parris Island from the proceeds of the inaugural Tee It Up for the Troops – Dataw Island event.

Following is an article written by Rex Hoggard, from the Golf Channel about the impact this program has had on one Marines life.

May 29, 2017

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. – “They said I’d be paralyzed for the rest of my life,” smiles Edward Gizara as he pulls his driver back and launches a shot into a spring sky. Gizara is a medical miracle. He’s an inspiration and an unfiltered example of the best of us. But most of all he’s a survivor, not that any of those descriptions fit as he smothers another tee shot low and left.

He may be a genuine hero, but a bad swing is still a bad swing, and Gizara pivots, annoyed more than angry, as his ball races toward a row of trees down the left side of The Legends at Parris Island’s practice tee. The entire episode lasts just seconds but is a shining example of what self-belief, support and some golf can do even with the bleakest of outlooks.

In the summer of 1997 Gizara was living his dream. A career Marine who, after numerous deployments overseas, had returned to Marine Corps
Recruit Depot Parris Island to become a drill instructor. For a select few it’s a rite of passage to return to where it all began to train the next generation.
As he neared the end of his training and was sent to his first platoon, Gizara was volunteered to demonstrate the proper way to climb a rope on the combat endurance course. The ensuing 26-foot fall would fracture the L3 disc in his back and change his life forever.

Gizara was medevacked to the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Augusta, Ga., where he underwent nine fusion surgeries on his back and spent eight months recovering before he could even go home. When he could finally join his family he spent six months on his back with his wife having to roll him every two hours.

For a staff sergeant who spent his entire life leading men, Gizara’s physical limitations understandably became a psychological black hole. Two decades removed from those dark moments, he can now admit that he attempted suicide a “few times.” “Everything was no, no, no, and I just couldn’t take it anymore,” Gizara admits.

Initially, Gizara’s focus was on beating the odds and his doctor’s long-term diagnoses. He worked so hard to walk again doctors had to replace rods that had been inserted into his back multiple times because of wear and tear.

“You push yourself, so sometimes you break yourself,” he says. “I never thought I wouldn’t walk again; in the Marines you never give up and you never quit, you never stop fighting.” Overcoming paralysis, however, was just the beginning. Gizara was still a Marine and still needed a mission, which he found on the golf course of all places.

Although he hadn’t played golf since 1997, a friend told him about an Adaptive Golf Program at The Legends that’s designed to encourage those with disabilities and challenges to play. Cody Carter – an assistant pro at The Legends – altered Gizara’s swing to match his abilities and designed an action that wouldn’t cause any further injury. What Carter didn’t need to
do was find ways to motivate Gizara. That came naturally. “It makes you appreciate what you have, the determination people have. It’s definitely
inspiring for me,” Carter says. “Golf makes them feel normal, it’s a chance to do what everyone else is doing.”

For Gizara, as it is for so many who enter programs like Adaptive Golf, being on the course was much more than simply a chance to play a game – it was freedom. “It saved my life and my family understands that. That’s why I’m at the course so much,” Gizara says.

Gizara, who lives in Savannah, Ga., was so inspired by the program he launched a chapter in his hometown and meets with a group of about a dozen players twice a month. Just as he did when he was in the Marines, he now leads by example. As one would expect from a former drill instructor, Gizara’s bedside manner is, well, unique. During last year’s RBC Heritage Gizara set up an Adaptive Golf booth at Harbour Town Golf Links when a man in a motorized scooter drove by. 

“Can you play golf?” Gizara asked.

“Are you stupid or what?” was the man’s response.

Gizara explained what the Adaptive Golf Program offered and how they could teach the man to play with the help of new equipment like the ParaGolfer, which is an all-terrain wheelchair that raises the player into a standing position and allows a more conventional swing. “He started playing golf and now he really keeps everyone motivated,” Gizara says of the man. “I was in the wheelchair, I was in the scooter, it gave me purpose in my life which I was missing for a long time.”

The benefits of programs like Adaptive Golf go well beyond exceeding the physical limitations of a particular injury. For those like Gizara who finds themselves lacking a purpose and passion it’s a way to reengage with life.
Steve Giammona is a physical therapist at Beaufort (S.C.) Memorial Hospital who initially began the Adaptive Golf Program at Parris Island as a way to extend his patient’s rehabilitation, but he quickly realized it was also a way for patients to re-socialize.

“Part of what all this boils down to is it creates a social network and it gives them folks they can speak to who have been through similar situations and they can speak with them about how to cope with the world,” Giammona says. “So many ways I think golf mimics life and these folks have been faced with some of the biggest adversities. As they say on Parris Island, they [Marines] overcome and adapt.”

They also say you’re always a Marine, and Gizara is certainly an example of that. Golf saved his life and gave him a purpose, which in many ways can be as debilitating as losing the use of your legs or a missing limb.

Back on the range at The Legends, Gizara spins back toward the practice tee, he twists and bends to re-tee his golf ball before settling back in with his driver.
He pauses, looks up with a glare straight out of the drill instructor’s handbook and offers one final thought, “It’s not about your inability, it’s about your ability.”

Golf Academy of America Announces Partnership with Tee It Up for the Troops

Golf Academy of America announced today that it will be partnering with national nonprofit Tee It Up for the Troops. As part of this agreement, Golf Academy of America will sponsor and support a series of fundraising golf events hosted this autumn and winter.

All tournaments will raise money for veteran service organizations, both nationally and in the local community in which they take place. While some of the organizations are household names, others are smaller and more niche in size and scope.

As a sponsor of these golf events, two to four Golf Academy of America student volunteers and one or two instructors will attend and help run the tournaments. Golf Academy of America will also send teams of four students to compete in each tournament.

In addition, the Golf Academy of America volunteers will bring a Trackman device with them, allowing players to measure every aspect of their swing and analyzing the trajectory of the ball, providing them with immediate feedback.

The upcoming tournaments are scheduled on November 10 in Dallas and on December 7 in Orlando. Golf Academy of America will also sponsor Tee It Up for the Troops’ biggest event of the year, to take place at Reunion Resort in Orlando from January 10 – 14, 2018.

“We are very excited about working with Golf Academy of America, which has a much higher proportion of veteran students than the general population,” said Tee It Up for the Troops President & Executive Director Tim Wegscheid. “Golf Academy of America really aligns with our mission by helping veterans returning from combat to transition out of military life, giving them great career opportunities in the golf industry.”

“It’s our honor to partner with an organization that speaks to our values and helps veterans through the game of golf,” said Steve Newman, Golf Academy of America National Director of Operations. “It is our hope that through this sponsorship, we can support the great work of Tee It Up for the Troops and increase our connection with the veteran community.”

In keeping with the spirit of the event, each tournament will begin with a meaningful and impactful ceremony to remember all those who serve(d).

About Golf Academy of America

Golf Academy of America (formerly the San Diego Golf Academy) is the largest and longest-running two-year golf college in the world. Golf Academy of America’s 16-month program balances classroom studies, practical experience and comprehensive understanding of both the game and the business of golf. Campuses are located in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando, Myrtle Beach and Dallas. For more information, call 800-342-7342 or visit http://www.GolfAcademy.edu. Golf Academy of America schools are owned and operated by the Education Corporation of America.

Donation to On Course Foundation Keeps on Giving

In January of 2017, on behalf of our generous sponsors and supporters, Tee It Up for the Troops donated $10,000 to the On Course Foundation. On Course Foundation is a veteran support organization that assists with the recovery of wounded, injured and ill Service personnel and veterans through golf. Their mission “….is to build confidence and self-belief in our Members [Service personnel and veterans] through golf skills and employment events, and set them on the path to meaningful employment opportunities in the golf industry.”

So why golf you might ask? The benefits of playing golf offers a key part in mental and physical recovery, improving both balance and limb coordination. Camaraderie, competitive spirit and concentration are important too, supporting the psychological recovery Service personnel and veterans, helping them find confidence within themselves.

Working together, we are using the game of golf as a vehicle for successful recovery, achieving a positive outcome not only on the golf course, but ultimately through work experience and eventually meaningful employment in the golf industry.

One of the beneficiaries of this donation was Ronnie Hurst, a medically discharged Army Veteran. He was having a hard time acclimating back into civilian life. Ronnie attended some of On Course Foundation’s events in Washington State and learned about various golf employment opportunities. On Course Foundation set him up with Chamber’s Bay golf course as a Player Assistant where Ronnie gained knowledge and experience in the golf industry and began his transition into civilian life.

Tee It Up for the Troops is happy to support Ronnie’s journey and we wish him all the best in his bright future! Thank you to the On Course Foundation for all you have done and continue to do for our military personnel!

Tee It Up for the Troops Selects Third Operation HeartFirst™ Recipient to Open Anytime Fitness Franchise!

Tee It Up for the Troops is proud to announce the third recipient of a financial grant designed to help military veterans open their own Anytime Fitness gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans.

This year’s selected recipient, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Hunt, retired as a United States Air Force Technical Sergeant in the Security Forces career field. Deployed six times during her 15 years of service, Liz said, “the gear never got lighter, the terrain never got easier to ruck through, and after listening to my squad talk about (and sometimes experiencing) back and knee pain, I realized the significance of not just keeping myself fit, but ensuring my squad was just as fit (if not more).” Thus began her dream of owning her own Anytime Fitness franchise!

Liz and her husband Corey, a 17 year Major in the Air Force, will use a $125,000 grant and a $125,000 loan as start-up capital to open an Anytime Fitness gym near Fort Rucker in Dothan, Alabama.

After learning that she had been selected, Liz pledged “I, on the core values the military raised me on, pledge to not only paint this town purple with Anytime Fitness’ motto, but to do right and remain humbled at organizations such as yours that never stop serving…that truly embrace the motto of carrying your brother/sister…”

IRAQ BOMB SURVIVOR FINDS NEW LIFE, NEW MISSION THROUGH ADAPTIVE SPORTS

Note: This article was printed in the August edition of DSUSA’s Challenge Magazine. DSUSA/Warfighter Sports one of the  top two national beneficiaries Tee It Up for the Troops donates to for services to our veterans and their families.

In the military community, ‘alive days’ are important anniversaries, commemorating the day a warfighter is severely wounded in battle. They memorialize a day that went from just another day on the job to the day when a new normal began. Retired Air Force Staff Sgt. Dan Acosta has celebrated 11 alive days since December 2005 when he was injured by a bomb while on patrol, losing his left arm and suffering significant damage to his legs.

Acosta joined the Air Force in 2002 knowing that he wanted to be an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Technician. This job is open to all four military branches, and to enlisted members and officers alike, but the training is so difficult that it has an 80 percent failure rate.

Acosta said he was drawn to the challenge of it. “It had the academic challenge, the physical challenge, the mental attitude challenge. It pushes you to the limit where you have to commit. You have to be all in – it’s 100 percent or not at all.”

After successfully completing EOD training, Acosta was sent to Baghdad, Iraq. His life there was similar to the 2010 Academy Award Best Picture winner “The Hurt Locker,” which follows an EOD technician dismantling explosives in Baghdad.

“Every single one of those situations in that movie I’ve seen or been in a lot worse,” Acosta said. “The scene where they’re called to a roadside IED – that was like four or five times a day for me and my team.”

On Dec. 7, 2005, Acosta was called to a ‘routine roadside bomb.’ While routine and roadside bomb don’t seem to fit into the same sentence, this is regular duty for EOD specialists. That day, Acosta and his team found and successfully disarmed two devices.

“I had a gut feeling that there was a third one there and I wanted to find it and disarm it,” he said. “I started to do a little courtesy sweep where I thought it might be and, sure enough, I found it.”

Acosta stepped on a pressure plate with 30 pounds of explosives attached. In addition to losing his arm, the bomb sent sand and dirt coursing into his skin at high pressure, causing severe damage to his legs.

“A lot of people look at a bomb go off and see the fire, the thermal effect, and consider that as the damaging part of a bomb,” he said. “It’s actually the overpressure that it creates. Just that amount of pressure against my body, the sand and dirt and debris that literally tore the meat off of my legs.”

Surviving his first surgery was another rehabilitation milestone for Acosta, whose survival expectancy rate was determined to be 10 percent according to the doctors who were operating on him. Acosta’s teammate, Staff Sgt. Joe Upton, who saved Acosta’s life providing combat first aid immediately after the explosion, was told that if he survived the first surgery his chances would be 50 percent survival. Acosta passed that milestone too, and six days later arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, Texas, for more surgeries and to start rehabilitation.

Acosta’s recovery moved at a remarkable speed, which he credits to his positive attitude from the moment he arrived in San Antonio and learned about the extent of his injuries.

“If I was in that hospital longer than I should be, that was going to be the thing that would kill me,” he said.

It was at BAMC that he relearned to walk, and shortly thereafter he signed up for to snowboard with Disabled Sports USA in Breckenridge, Colorado. “I actually spent my very first alive day in Breckenridge,” said Acosta. “That was the tipping point to want to live happy. From coming to re-learn how to walk and spending my first alive day snowboarding was just awesome.”

In addition to snowboarding, Acosta also participated in the Warfighter Sports golf program at BAMC. While it wasn’t a sport he had participated in prior to his injury, Acosta found his swing quickly, and completed the eight-week clinic series with local PGA professionals. For his participation, he received a set of custom-fitted PING clubs. Acosta used the game as his physical therapy for his legs, walking the course and playing about four times a week close to three years until he left BAMC and San Antonio.

He said the game helped with more than just physical rehabilitation. “Golf is one of those games where it’s a game of consistency, a little bit of strategy, and controlling your own anxieties. All of that helped at that time with balancing out my personal life.”

 

Today, Acosta lives in the Chicago area, where he works for iJet International as an analyst and risk consultant. The full-time job and Chicago weather

do not let him get out on the golf course as much as he would like, but he still uses his PING clubs on the links as many times a year as he can.

Acosta remains involved in adaptive sports as an ambassador for Warfighter Sports, as an advisory team member for Tee it Up for the Troops, a Warfighter Sports national partner, and as a board member for Adaptive Adventures, a chapter of Disabled Sports USA. He hopes to get even more involved in adaptive sports in the coming years to help others reach their own milestones.

“Adaptive Sports have done so much for me to want to continue life in a very positive way,” he said. “Being the EOD guy, I love helping people and love saving lives. If I can continue that in another way, I want to do so and I think it’s through adaptive sports.”

 

 

Tee It Up for the Troops and Concert Golf Partners Join Forces to Support Veterans

Tee It Up for the Troops™ and Concert Golf Partners Join Forces to Support Veterans

Fundraising Events will benefit Veterans and their Families in 15 Communities in 2017

Tee It Up for the Troops™ and Concert Golf Partners are proud to announce that they will be joining forces to support America’s veterans and military families.  Since 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has been engaging and inspiring communities and golf clubs across the United States to do great things on behalf of our military men and women in support of their mission:  To honor, remember, respect and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces of our great nation.

To further that mission, Concert Golf Partners has “stepped up to the tee” to launch fundraising golf events at each of its 15 premier golf properties nationwide.  Concert Golf Partners exists for one simple reason – to work “in concert with” the boards and members at each of their top-notch golf and country clubs to preserve and enhance their clubs for the long term.

Through this partnership, Tee It Up for the Troops and Concert Golf Partners collectively aspire to generate and donate more than $100,000 to various veterans’ non-profits, both nationally and locally in the home market of each Concert Golf property.  The following Concert Golf clubs have designated the following dates to host their Tee It Up for the Troops events:

May 28 – Sand Creek Country Club, Chesterton, IN

June 4 – Legacy Golf Resort, Phoenix, AZ

June 26 – Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes, Orlando, FL

July 17 – Heathrow Country Club, Orlando, FL

August 11 – Crestview Country Club, Wichita, KS

August 21 – White Manor Country Club, Malvern, PA

August 24 – Philmont Country Club, Huntingdon Valley, PA

August 28 – Carrollwood Country Club, Tampa, FL

August 28 – Country Club at Woodmore, Washington DC

September 5 – MacGregor Downs Country Club, Raleigh, NC

September 27 – Blue Hill Country Club, Canton, MA

December 9 – Golf Club of Amelia Island, Amelia Island, FL

December 11 – West Lake Country Club, Augusta, GA

TBD – Hawthorns Golf & Country Club, Fisher, IN

“Tee It Up for the Troops is honored to have the support of a great golf and lifestyle company such as Concert Golf align with our efforts to support all the brave men and women of our military,” stated Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops.  “Their golf clubs are some of the best in the country and we are so appreciative for the time, money, and effort that they are willing to dedicate to helping our combat altered veterans.”

Susan Dunnavant, Chief Operating Officer of Concert Golf, added: “Concert Golf is proud, and humbled, to assist our brave Veterans and we anticipate that this is the start of a great partnership for a long time to come. We are honored to partner with Tee It Up for the Troops, a truly worthwhile charity giving back to our nation’s military heroes.”

About Tee It Up for the Troops

Tee It Up for the Troops, Inc, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves U.S. military veterans and their families.  Based in Minnesota, Tee It Up for the Troops inspires communities across the country to organize golf events to raise funds for partnering veteran service organizations who deliver critically needed services to military families.  These locally-supported events also greatly assist returning service members to successfully reintegrate into their communities.  Established in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 360 events in more than 40 states and has donated over $7 million to more than 300 various organizations serving veterans across the country.  In addition, through their REUNION initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops has reunited over 230 combat altered veterans who were separated due to battlefield injuries.  Through these reunions, participating veterans enhance their transition process into productive and fulfilling civilian lifestyles.

About Concert Golf Partners

Concert Golf Partners is a well-capitalized owner-operator of golf properties and buyer of loans secured by golf properties nationwide. Our management team has decades of professional golf management experience from Arnold Palmer Golf Management, Valley Crest, GE Capital, KSL Fairways, ClubCorp, and other leading firms with expertise gained from owning and operating over 100 premier golf properties across the US since 1990. We are deeply committed to attracting the very best employees, providing a superior customer experience and continuously investing in capital improvements at our clubs. Our group is an all-cash buyer of country clubs; we do not use debt to finance these investments because we think top-notch golf clubs benefit from the stability and certainty that comes from long-term debt-free ownership.

Media Contacts:

Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops: tim@teeitupforthetroops.org

Wayne Leal, Director of Golf Development for Concert Golf Partners:  wleal@concertgolfclubs.com

Anytime Fitness® and Tee It Up for the Troops® are seeking applicants for a new gym near Ft. Rucker

Woodbury, Minn. – For the 3rd year in a row, Anytime Fitness is partnering with Tee It Up for the Troops in an effort to help military veterans open their own gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans.  Via the “Operation HeartFirst” initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops will offer a $125,000 grant and a $125,000 loan to a select number of honorably discharged veterans for the purpose of assisting with initial start-up capital to be used for the development of an Anytime Fitness franchise.  Anytime Fitness’ HeartFirst Charitable Foundation™ will provide a grant to Tee It Up for the Troops, which will then offer this opportunity to approved veterans, National Guard members, or reservists, as well as oversee the selection process and management of logistics.

“Operation HeartFirst is our way of saying thank you to all of the fine service men and women who’ve made tremendous sacrifices for our country,” said Dave Mortensen, President of Anytime Fitness, LLC. “Currently, about 10% of our franchisees are military veterans.  We’d like to see that number grow even higher.  Veterans are some of our best and most successful club operators.”  

APPLICATION PROCESS

Tee It Up for the Troops is currently accepting online applications via http://www.teeitupforthetroops.org/anytime-fitness-veteran-franchise-opportunity/.  Among other key criteria, interested veterans must have “a passion for fitness and community engagement.”  The application deadline is May 1st, 2017.

“We are looking for candidates who are eager to help others lead healthier lifestyles and who continue to serve and support the U.S. military and its veterans,” said Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops.  “This particular opportunity involves an Anytime Fitness gym to be located in the Dothan, AL area, near Fort Rucker.  The selected franchisee will determine the precise location of the gym.”

Anytime Fitness, LLC has also agreed to waive its initial franchise fee and ongoing royalty payments related to this opportunity.  Consideration will be given by the selection committee to veterans with service-related disabilities.

“The unemployment rate for military veterans is significantly higher than the national average,” said Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness, LLC.  “That’s just not right.  Our hope is that Operation HeartFirst will not only help veterans operate their own businesses, but also provide jobs for other vets as gym managers and personal trainers – for many years to come.”

The first Operation HeartFirst recipients opened their Anytime Fitness gym near Fort Bragg in Southern Pines, NC in the spring of 2016.  Another Operation HeartFirst gym will open within the next few weeks near Fort Benning in Opelika, AL.  The recipients of the next Operation HeartFirst grant will be selected by June 15th with an anticipated club opening date of early 2018.

OPERATION HEARTFIRST VIDEO:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf3VNN2wTyk

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About Anytime Fitness

Ranked #1 on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Top Global Franchise list, Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, with more than 3,500 gyms serving 3,000,000 members on five continents. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient fitness options and friendly, personal service in well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Gyms are now open in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Sweden, Italy, Grand Cayman, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Qatar, India, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Belgium and the Philippines.  All franchised gyms are individually owned and operated.  Join one gym and use them all.

About Tee It Up for the Troops

Tee It Up for the Troops, Inc, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves U.S. military veterans and their families.  Based in Minnesota, Tee it Up for the Troops inspires communities across the country to organize golf events to raise funds for partnering veterans service organizations who deliver critically needed services to military families.  These locally-supported events also greatly assist returning service members to successfully reintegrate into their communities.  Established in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 325 events in more than 30 states and has donated over $6 million to more than 300 various organizations serving veterans across the country.  In addition, through their REUNION initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops has reunited nearly 200 combat altered veterans who were separated due to battlefield injuries or changes in rehabilitation status.  Through these reunions, participating veterans enhance their transition process into productive and fulfilling civilian lifestyles.

Media Contacts:

Mark Daly, National Media Director for Anytime Fitness:  mark.daly@sebrands.com

Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops: tim@teeitupforthetroops.org

Donation made to support Veterans Resource Center at St. Cloud State University

To honor the mission of Tee It Up for the Troops, an all volunteer organizing committee teamed up with staff from the St Cloud Country Club to host their 3rd annual Tee It Up for the Troops golf benefit in August of 2016!

This event began with an inspirational opening ceremony that pays tribute to our nation, the men and women of our military, and our cherished freedoms. Following the opening ceremony golfers tee’d off for a 18-hole scramble tournament. Following the tournament, golfers and non-golfers enjoyed a cocktail reception and evening dinner program.

It is standard practice to donate 50% of Tee It Up for the Troops event proceeds to local veteran support organizations. In keeping with that tradition, this week several individuals gathered together to present a check in the amount of $14,200 to the SCSU Student Veterans Organization.

The Veterans Resource Center at St. Cloud State University provides a welcoming environment for veterans, current service members and their families. The center provides a one-stop shop for information and resources pertaining to military benefits, including referrals to outside veteran agencies, and provides an ideal space for networking and connecting with other military affiliated students on campus.

You can read more about how this specific donation with benefit the Veterans Resource Center here.

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The individuals in the photo below, from left to right, are as follows: Tom Olson, General Manager of the St. Cloud Country Club; Rollie Carlson, TIUFTT Minnesota Chapter Board Member; Interim President of SCSU, Ashish Vaidya; Vice President of University Advancement, Matt Andrew; and Vice President of Student Life and Development, Wanda Overland.