Swing for A Cause Charity Golf Outing
September 12, 2018
On Wednesday, September 12th I had the privilege of hosting the 4th Swing for a Cause Charity Golf Outing at Beaver Brook Country Club (BBCC) in Clinton, NJ. The event was a huge success as we raised roughly $13,000 which will be going to charities that support our troops (past and present) and Police. Without the sacrifices made by these heroes none of this would be possible. I’ll list the charities we donated to below but first I want to talk about what made this event extra special for me.
We had 72 golfers and a few guests attend the event with approximately half having served in the military or police. Some served in both and are still active. There were military veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Grenada, El Salvador, both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan.
As many of you know, I advertise the outing as a fun event and a way to “Pay it Forward”. The people I am going to talk about next made this much more than a fundraiser. On at least three occasions they brought grown men and women to tears. The first moment was when Caitlin Dwyer, an up and coming recording artist, drove in from an appearance in New York City to sing the National Anthem (she had no idea she would be asked to sing it acapella). She did great!! While Caitlin was singing, we had an Honor Guard from the Union County Sheriff’s office present the colors. Both Caitlin and the Honor Guard donated their time to the event. The next two people had no idea that I’d ask them to speak, but when they did, you could hear a pin drop and there weren’t many dry eyes in the room. The first I called forward was Edward Moss, a Korean War Veteran who was part of one of the United States Marine Corp’s most famous campaigns, the Chosin Reservoir (aka “Frozen Chosin”) where temperatures of minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit were common. I will paraphrase Ed’s story. During the fighting at the Chosin Reservoir, the Marines were able to rescue 100,000 men, women, and children that were being held as work slaves by the North Koreans and Chinese. Fast forward to a few years ago. Ed was working as the starter at Beaver Brook Country Club and his car had a decal that said “Chosin Marine”. A woman that was coming to play golf saw the bumper sticker and went looking for the “Chosin Marine”. She asked Ed if he knew whose car had the “Chosin Marine” sticker on it and Ed replied, “That’s mine.” She then told him how he saved her life. It turns out that, as a 4-year old, she was one of the people the Marines rescued at Chosin Reservoir. They hugged and cried then, while many of us in the room had tears in our eyes as he retold the story. By the way, Ed is 87 years young and still golfing and working as a starter at BBCC. If you play there, don’t ask for Ed, ask for “Mossie”.
Christopher McGee is an Army veteran who served in Kosovo and Iraq. Chris talked about his Charity, NY Run for the Fallen, where along with a team of dedicated runners, he carries an American flag as well as an Honor and Remember flag the entirety of their 3-day journey from Syracuse to Albany. At prearranged spots they stop and meet with Gold Star families. They hug and listen to the families talk about their loved one who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Many of those families are presented with an Honor and Remember flag personalized with their loved one’s name. Chris brought along and showed an Honor and Remember flag that had the name of his nephew SGT Timothy VanOrman who was killed in Iraq on February 5, 2008 while serving with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. He told us that a person dies two deaths…the first is a physical death and the second is when their name has been said aloud for the last time and they have been forgotten. The goal of the New York Run for the Fallen is to make sure that those heroes never die their second death.
My eleven-year-old granddaughter Leyna Stagg and her friend Charlee McGatha jointly presented about Flags Across Warren County, a charity they support. They did a fantastic job and received a tremendous round of applause. Tom True, President of True Associates, was so inspired that he got up, grabbed the microphone, and pledged $500 to their charity, challenging the rest of the audience to step up for the great causes we would be donating to. From that point on, money started flowing in. Leyna and Charlee also helped by selling raffle tickets, while their mothers helped with registration.
The charities that received donations include:
Flags Across Warren County