//

Dataw Island’s week-long Celebration of Service raises $75,000 for veterans

5 mins read

From staff reports

Once again, Dataw Island members and supporters came together last week to host a week-long celebration of service to benefit wounded and disabled veterans. Last year’s donation of $68,000 to Tee It Up for the Troops was hard to top, but Dataw Island members, friends, and staff came together and raised an astounding $75,000.

The week began with a Silent Auction, and despite the harsh weather and rain, Sunday members lined the streets with 3,500 American flags. Following, a “Big Break” superintendent’s revenge-style golf tournament was played – also in the cold and rain. The day ended with a happy hour like none other. Guest bartenders volunteered and raise money as attendees Tipped It Up for the Troops at the Dataw Island Pub.

Monday eight staff came together to enjoy the famous Golf Marathon. Again lead by Director of Golf Chris Fearn, this year the new format had four teams playing a total of 288 holes from 8:30 a.m. to around 4:30 p.m. – with pledges made per hole and/or per birdie and eagle. PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), the flagship military program of PGA REACH, hosted the first Lowcountry PGA Hope event as well Monday, treating wounded veterans to a fun round on the Tom Fazio Cotton Dike course.

Tuesday began with a March and Rally, where veterans and their supporters gathered for an interactive flag ceremony, complete with musical performances, the pledge, the presentation of the S.C. Governor’s Proclamation, presentation of the colors, and more. After the rally, a full field of golfers – including 75 guest veterans – competed in the Veterans Golf Classic & Cookout on both the Cotton Dike course and the Arthur Hills Morgan River course.

The week’s final event is perhaps one of the most special, as Dataw Island Veterans were honored at the Veterans Breakfast. The annual breakfast welcomed the guest speaker – Dataw Island’s own Col. Chaplain Brainerd. And, in a tearful presentation in honor of his many years of service both in the military and as a veteran, the late Dave Luzzi was named Veteran of the Year.

Luzzi was a Specialist 4 in the Army Military Police Corps and he served as Tournament Director and Master of Ceremony for TIUFTT Veterans Golf Classic for many years. He was highly involved in the Adaptive Golf Experience-Parris Island program and was a huge supporter of the Tee It Up for the Troops program. He was known as the “golf buddy” and will be missed by his fellow members.

“This week brings so many mixed emotions, some of deep sadness for those we have lost serving our great country. But at the same time, you feel so much joy seeing men and women who have served, thoroughly enjoying the camaraderie and of course the golf,” TIUFTT Chairman Phil Marshall said in a release. “This week on Dataw always brings out the best of everyone because we all know the freedoms we have that were provided by some giving some; but many giving all.

“Thank you to the Dataw staff, the many volunteers, all the many donations from both on island and off who gave both monetary donations, services or products we could use in our silent auctions; a huge shout out goes to Butler Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram for such a generous donation! Finally, the outpouring of kindness Dataw showed to the 119 disabled veterans who visited this week for both golf tournaments Monday and Tuesday. The work behind the scenes was tiring but, in the end, it is so rewarding. I told my wife Mary, my heart could not be any fuller. So, thank you Dataw and may God bless.”

Latest from Blog

LOWCOUNTRY LOWDOWN

 Affordable housing still a dream for many  When it comes to giving thanks, many place safe…

LOWCOUNTRY LIFE

Mark Pritchard took this photo of three dolphins swimming in tight formation in Jenkins Creek from…