Golf Classic Tournament 2018 Big Success and Raffle Prize Winner
The MVAT Foundation’s largest and most important fundraiser of the year – the Golf Classic – took place on Monday, August 20 at the MountainGate Country Club in Los Angeles, California. This year, the 12th annual tournament, raised more than $400,000 to support our programs for veterans and their families. The awards dinner featured a keynote address by Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Kyle White.
Since its inception, the Golf Classic has raised nearly $4 million for MVAT Foundation programming and support services including our own Heroes Linked program as well as partner programs supporting veteran and spouse workforce integration, rehabilitation, health and well-being, and housing.
Building on MVAT’s belief that there should be veterans in every workforce, this year’s tournament put a spotlight on Heroes Linked, our signature program. Heroes Linked is a no-cost, national resource for veterans transitioning service members, and military spouses to gain career guidance and professional development support from private sector professionals.
Industry diverse and geographically dispersed, Heroes Linked’s network of volunteers share their time and career knowledge to inform and better prepare veterans for successful and fulfilling post-military careers. With more than 1,100 persons in the Heroes Linked network, MVAT is proud to be providing a needed service and opportunity for all those who serve.
The tournament day opened with a moving Opening Ceremony attended by two Medal of Honor recipients, distinguished senior military officers, and nearly 200 golf tournament participants. After welcoming addresses, an Armed Forces Color Guard presented the colors and vocalist Vanessa Bryan sang the national anthem. The Los Angeles Police Department paid tribute to the tournament with a helicopter flyby.
The Golden Stars skydiving team kicked off the post play reception with an incredible demonstration of aerial precision that concluded with one of the skydivers trailing an enormous American flag landing right next to the outdoor event space.
Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs, an NBC/MSNBC Military Analyst, knocked it out of the park in his first year as the Awards Dinner emcee. Jack introduced MVAT Chairman Don Schwarz, who thanked the donors and sponsors whose support makes the MVAT Foundation’s programs possible. Schwarz was followed by MVAT Executive Director James Colbert, who discussed the Heroes Linked program and its successes.
Former U.S. Army Sergeant Kyle White delivered the evening’s keynote address. Bob Jerome, a past member of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, introduced Sergeant White.
For his heroic actions during a foot movement in mountainous terrain in Aranas, Afghanistan, on Nov. 9, 2007, Sergeant White received the nation’s highest military award. At that time, then-Specialist White was serving as a Platoon Radio Telephone Operator assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, when his team of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers were set up and ambushed by a much larger and more heavily armed Taliban force after a meeting with Afghan villagers. In the course of the battle and despite his own wounds, White repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to save the lives of teammates and then, for the next several hours, directed air support to keep the enemy at bay, further protecting the remaining living but seriously wounded members of his team until a relief force could reach their position.
Sergeant White treated the Awards Dinner audience to a rousing speech that was focused on the myriad challenges veterans face in building successful post-service careers. He spoke at length about Heroes Linked, saying, at one point, “My transition into the workforce was a tough one. I must have sent in 50 applications, and no jobs. I wish there had been a resource like Heroes Linked to teach me to reach out [to an advisor] and say, hey, what am I supposed to do?”
Just before the end of the event, the winners of the golf tournament were announced and the drawing for the 2018 Australia or New Zealand Adventure travel package was held. Mr. Jason Latimer of Santa Monica, California was the winner. Congratulations, Jason!
The evening concluded with the entire crowd singing God Bless America, led by America’s Tenor, Mr. Steve Amerson.
The MVAT Foundation would like to extend its deep appreciation to our incredible volunteers, without whom the tournament and its great success for our veterans would not be possible. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your assistance allows the MVAT Foundation to to carry out our Heroes Linked program and our other endeavors to assist veterans and their families.
Special gratitude is also expressed to our 2018 sponsors:
American Golf Corporation
American Legion Post 283, Pacific Palisades
Awards Dinner Sponsor
Gary Sinise Foundation
RBC Wealth Management
The Tailored Portfolio Management Group at RBC Wealth Management
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Scorpion Internet Marketing
Tournament Lunch Sponsor
Yonezawa-Miller Co., LLC
BlueGreen Preservation and Development
Down Under Endeavours
Ron and Annette Plotkin
David Price/American Airports
The Shaw Family
Dale and Dennis Weiss
Nicole Segal, in Honor of Dick Gold
AUSA Greater Los Angeles Chapter
Big Horse Feed & Mercantile/Rose Corona
Bishop Family Foundation
Mike and Adrienne Blackman
Donald A. Gralla
Marvin Test Solutions
Mike and Trish Melton
Skurka Aerospace, Inc.
Welch & Co. Accountancy Corp.