Back for its fourth year now, the Golf “Fore” Heroes tournament is looking to be even bigger and better than ever before.
The annual golf tournament is set for July 6, with proceeds from the day once again going to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Golf “Fore” Heroes got its start in September 2015, when Robert Mitchell, who had retired from the Army, approached Pine Acres Country Club about putting on a golf tournament to benefit the WWP, which aids service members who are wounded in the line of duty.
As an alumnus of the Wounded Warrior Project himself, the cause was something that Mitchell felt he needed to give back to because it benefited him so significantly after a pair of injuries while in Iraq.
And so, after moving back to Bradford following his retirement, Mitchell and Pine Acres organized the first tournament on July 9, 2016. In the inaugural event, 16 WWP alumni from Pennsylvania and the area played in the tournament.
Since then, the tournament has raised more than $27,000, and has steadily grown each year. Last year’s event alone raised roughly $10,000.
“I think the event has been successful for three reasons,” said C.J. Mackey, who co-chairs the event with Mitchell. “First, the cause is something that is very important to the people in our community. This is a very patriotic, blue-collar area and the community values the sacrifices made by our veterans.
“Second, we have an amazing team that helps put on this event and it wouldn’t be successful without their help. Lastly, Pine Acres Country Club is a tremendous host, and their attention to detail and professionalism is top-notch.”
This year’s tournament will be an all-day affair, with morning registration opening at 6:30 a.m. and a shotgun start at 7:30.
After the morning shotgun, which features 20 teams, there will be a Warrior Ceremony at 12:30 p.m. which will feature a singing of the national anthem and a color guard presentation.
“My favorite part of the day is the opening ceremony,” Mackey said. “The playing of taps, the 21-gun salute, and the singing of the national anthem are all a moving tribute to our nation's veterans.”
In the afternoon, a 30-team shotgun will begin at 1 o’clock. Registration for that event begins at 11 a.m.
Mackey says spots in the afternoon shotgun are already almost full, but if there is an excess of teams, the event will accept up to 20 additional teams for the morning shotgun.
Finally, once the tournament concludes, there will be dinner and an awards ceremony, followed by drinks and live music.
Additionally, there will be plenty of chances to win prizes throughout the day, with a chinese auction, casino hole, putting contest and more to be featured, so even non-golfers can stop by and enjoy the festivities.
“Anyone is welcome to stop out for the ceremony. They should arrive at 12:30 for that,” Mackey said. “Additionally, County Lines will be performing after the dinner and awards presentation. They’ll be starting around 7:30 and I know we are going to have a great turnout for that.”
For more information on the event, find the Golf “Fore” Heroes Facebook page or visit www.golfforeheroes.com. To register your team, call 814-362-2005. The price is $70 for members of Pine Acres, and $80 for non-members.
Additionally, local businesses may opt to sponsor the event at varying levels. More information on that can be found at the aforementioned website.
“It’s an honor to be able to do this for Wounded Warrior Project,” Mackey concluded. “I’d like to thank the community for its continued support, to thank our committee for its countless hours of dedication to the cause, to thank our veterans for their selfless service to our country.”