Holes for Heroes celebrates the sacrifice of military members

A military veteran playing golf during a previous Holes for Heroes tournament.

The date is set for the 14th Annual Holes for Heroes Golf Tournament and Military Appreciation event on Friday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m. at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club. Holes for Heroes has raised more than $1.35 million since 2006 to honor, celebrate and support the men and women of the military. The group has also hosted more than 350 wounded and combat veterans and their families to participate in this event.

The day-long tribute is sponsored by the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club, which actively supports a multitude of private and public community organizations as well as health and social causes and military charities. Dave Ferguson, a Rotary Club member and U.S. Air Force veteran, was asked to chair the Holes for Heroes event back in 2005.

“Our region has one of the largest contingents of military members in the nation,” he said. “I knew the community wanted to say thank you to our troops, but many don’t know how or whom to trust, especially with recent news articles of organizations misusing funds intended for our troops.” So Ferguson took the reins and continues to do so to this day.

Organizers hope to surpass last year’s fundraising milestone of $140,000 to support San Diego military charities. Those charities include Armed Services YMCA, Freedom Dogs, Honor Flight, One More Wave Surf Corporation, Operation BIGS, USO, Pegasus Rising, Veterans Village, Angels of America’s Fallen, STEP and other community-service organizations.

The event offers a unique opportunity to spend a day on the links and dine with members of the military. Veterans and their families come out to enjoy a fun and relaxing experience, including the use of all the club’s amenities – pool, gym, tennis and spa facilities. The event concludes with a reception and recognition dinner with more than 200 people attending.

A military veteran enjoying the links during a Holes for Heroes tournament in 2014.
A military veteran enjoying the links during a Holes for Heroes tournament in 2014.

“This event provides a unique opportunity to spend a day with the physically and mentally wounded heroes of our military,” says Ferguson, “up close and personal. We can’t do too much for these heroes and their families who have sacrificed so much for us.”

Many of the military participants are amputees or suffer from traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. Ferguson says the most rewarding experience is hearing from the military members themselves. He remembers a double-leg amputee saying, “It’s therapeutic, it’s fun, it’s motivational, it’s as good as it gets.” And a retired wounded Marine Corps Master Sergeant commenting, “In my 21 years of service, I’ve never had anyone say thank you like this before.”

Many military families also receive donated bikes for their kids to take home.

Ferguson points out that the motto of the Rotary Club is “service above self.” With an event like Holes for Heroes and all the money raised to help the military, he has one comment. “Mission accomplished!”

The Holes for Heroes event takes place at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club at 1505 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. Sponsorship opportunities and player spots are still available. Tickets are $1,100 for a foursome, or $275 for a single player. The price of a ticket includes dinner, carts, golfing fees and player gifts. Go to www.holesforheroes.org to learn more or call 858-381-0853. You can also email at contact@holesforheroes.org.