Chapter Golf Event Raises More Than $30K for Military Causes

Chapter Golf Event Raises More Than $30K for Military Causes
Chapter President Lt. Col. Donald Hansen, USA (Ret), right, presents a check to chapter member Cmdr. Robert “Dusty” Rhodes, USN (Ret), a representative of a local Rotary club that sponsors a free dental work program for veterans in need. (Courtesy Photo)

Eight military organizations in Florida received donations to help them fulfill their missions thanks to the Lake and Sumter Counties (Fla.) Chapter of MOAA. The chapter raised more than $30,000 at its 15th annual golf tournament this spring -- half of the money went to the military charities, while the other half was used for scholarships for 12 senior cadets at six high schools in Lake and Sumter counties.


According to Lt. Col. Donald Hansen, USA (Ret), chapter president, the chapter has continued to grow the tournament over the years to increase the funds raised and donated locally.


“Over the past few years, we have focused on increasing the number of sponsors,” Hansen said, adding that the 2023 tournament had 21 sponsors, exceeding the chapter’s goal of having one per hole.


“Focusing our efforts on sponsors really made a difference,” he said.


In addition to sponsors supporting the event, more than 100 golfers participated. The chapter also held a silent auction during the tournament, which raised about $4,000.


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Hansen said members of the chapter are integral to the success of the event, which is organized by a committee of about 25 chapter members.


“From stuffing gift bags to selling mulligans and putting contest [entries] to assisting with registration and the silent auction, the committee members all have a job on the day of the tournament,” he said.


They also work for months in advance planning the event and securing sponsors and donations for the silent auction.


Hansen said the tournament not only benefits the scholarship recipients and local organizations but also the chapter.


“It’s been a great way to spread the word about our chapter to individuals and businesses who might not be familiar with MOAA,” he said.


It also gives members of the chapter an opportunity to give back.


“The MOAA slogan — never stop serving — says it most,” Hansen said. “For those who have served, that’s a slogan we live by. But as we grow older, it can be more difficult to get out and do things. So what this tournament does is allow our members to contribute to something and make a difference.”


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About the Author

Blair Drake
Blair Drake

As managing editor of Military Officer, Drake coordinates and edits content for the magazine, including the Never Stop Serving section.