MIDDLETOWN – Tee Off With Our Patriots Golf Classic, now in its second year, will be held Monday, Aug. 12, at the Navesink Country Club, 50 Luffburrow Lane.
The benefit will help the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHA) bring attention to the challenges faced by military personnel, veterans and their families.
Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. A color guard ceremony will immediately precede the tee off at 9 a.m. There will be military installations on display at the event from various branches of the military.
MHA will ask an active duty service member or veteran to play with your foursome, if requested.
Golfers will enjoy 18 holes on the Navesink Country Club championship course and various contests, including a hole-in-one chance to win a new car from World Jeep. Cocktails, catered luncheon, silent auction and awards will follow in the clubhouse. The Red Bank office of Morgan Stanley and World Jeep are sponsoring the event.
The cost is $1,180 for a foursome and $295 for an individual ticket. Tickets for the 50/50 will be sold in advance and at the event with the drawing to be held during the luncheon. The opportunity to sponsor a “Patriot to Play” is also, available.
There is a pressing need to encourage returning soldiers to seek early intervention and treatment for any symptoms that may be related – but not limited to – depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and substance abuse. MHA’s objective is to ensure that our returning soldiers and their family members are helped.
This year MHA has reached out to Matthew Craw, a Monmouth County resident, USMC combat veteran, author, and honorary committee member to ask for insight into his experiences upon returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006.
Craw wrote a book, The Song Each Bullet Sings: The Story of Operation Iraqi Freedom Through the Eyes of One Marine, which is scheduled to be published in July. “In a time when America seems to be forgetting about the War on Terror, I wrote my story to give the public a courtside seat and show them exactly what today’s war does to you both mentally and physically,” Craw said. “I hope that by working with MHA on this important event, more returning service members and their families who may be facing mental health challenges will reach out to MHA.”
MHA has a number of free programs in place that can be used by returning soldiers’ and veterans’ family members. This past year, MHA expanded the promotion and outreach for these services and programs and appointed Pamela Schott to lead these efforts.
Under her supervision, MHA has made presentations at VFWs throughout Monmouth County and met with several key state officials. More presentations and meetings are scheduled in the coming months.
As a result of these efforts, MHA is currently receiving phone calls and requests for services, information and referrals.
“I am honored to be able to develop and grow this worthwhile program within MHA,” Schott said. “I hope that through presentations, meetings, and events like the golf classic, the word will be spread to all military personnel, veterans and their families, that MHA is here to help. Please call us at 732-542-6422.”
This year’s golf committee is being chaired by Justine Robertson of Monmouth Beach and MHA board member Ernesto Cullari of Asbury Park.
Other new members of the committee are: Judi Dawkins of Rumson, Maria Schulz of Shrewsbury, Dawn Smith of Tinton Falls and MHA board member Lori Krikorian. Golf committee members are hoping to broaden the reach and participation at this year’s event through outreach and promotion in all areas of Monmouth County.
Supporting this event and members of the Honorary Committee are: Maj. Gen. Donald F. Campbell Sr. (Ret.) USAR; Vice Adm. Paul G. Gaffney II (Ret.) USN; Brig. Gen. Peter Dawkins (Ret.) USAR; Col. Michael Ruane (Ret.) USAR; Lt. Col. Peter J. Mahoney USMC; Lt. Col. Charles M. Long USMC; and Craw.
“We thank the golf committee and honorary committee members who are dedicating their time and effort to making this event successful. In addition, we are thrilled to have the privilege of requesting active duty service members and veterans to play with our participants,” said Wendy DePedro, MHA executive director.
For more information about the golf classic or sponsorship opportunities please visit www.mentalhealthmonmouth.org or call 732-542-6422, ext. 114.