Beaufort, SC --- Dataw Island has a reputation. A reputation for thanking and honoring the men and women who have served our country. This week, the tables turned when the On Course Foundation, one of the recipient organizations of Dataw’s efforts, presented Dataw Island with a plaque to express their appreciation for the continued support of Dataw residents and staff.
At the ceremony, it was also announced that the USGA will conduct the first National US Open Championship for disabled men & women in 2019-2020, a huge boon for disabled Veteran golfers.
Glenn Blackburn, US Army Veteran and Dataw member, said that thanks to Dataw Island and others, there is a groundswell of support in the USGA golf community. “Now that golf is in the Olympics, surely golf will arrive shortly as part of the Para-Olympics.”
Dataw Island supports the healing, recovery and transition of wounded and disabled Veterans in several ways, including through fundraisers and golf therapy programs. One of these programs is the On Course Foundation, an organization that supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans through golf. Annually, Dataw Island hosts one of the qualifying events for the Simpson Cup – an event in which 24 wounded or injured veterans from across the country travel to the Lowcountry hoping to secure one of the three coveted spots for the American team, which then goes on to compete against British counterparts in a Ryder Cup-style championship. For the past three years, the USA Simpson Cup Team was coached by Dataw’s Assistant Golf Pro, Chris Fearn.
The community also hosts a multitude of events every year around Veterans Day, including the Veterans Golf Classic, an Island-wide charity fund raiser that has received national recognition for its efforts in support of our nation's veterans and military families who have lost loved ones. Dataw Island residents team-up with the local Beaufort Veteran Service Chapters of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans Chapter #12 and the American Legion #9 to host the event, a charity fund raiser for non-profit Veteran groups that support the healing, recovery and transition of wounded, disabled and injured warriors thru golf therapy programs. The day opens with a parade and ceremony and features a golf scramble in which Dataw members play alongside wounded and disabled Veterans. In recent years, the event has expanded to also include a golf marathon in which Chris Fearn has also played as many as 191 holes of golf in one day to support veterans’ foundations. Members who are not golfers also support the events in other ways, such as volunteering to place thousands of flags along Dataw Drive to welcome the day’s honorees – our American Veterans.
Blackburn says he is inspired by the hard work that these young Veterans exude – on the battlefield, on the golf course, and in life. “We have seen double amputee veterans arrive at Dataw in a wheelchair to play golf one year, and next year they are walking the course with new prosthetics and playing out of golf cart.
To Blackburn and other participants, building relationships with the On Course Foundation Veterans through the game of golf enriches the lives of all participants -- Veterans and civilians, young and old.
Veteran’s Golf Classic Tournament
Dataw is pleased to announce the 2017 tournament committee:
Dave Luzzi, Tournament Director
Glenn Blackburn, Veteran Affairs
Committee members: Larry Beidelman, Terry Thomas, Bo Tobin, Al Sears, Jim Morrissey, Don Farris, Hoppy Hopkins, Tom Korey, Dave Britton, Chris Fearn, John Ferguson, Chuck Lurey, George Cheatham and Steve Dietz.