If Patriot Golf Day was a child, it sure would go through a lot of clothes.
The event, which helps raise scholarship money for the children of fallen soldiers, celebrated its eighth birthday at the Grand Haven Golf Club on Wednesday. What started with a mere 68 golfers in 2006, has more than tripled with over 200 participants filling the two shotgun sessions this year.
The day has caught on outside of the region as well, raising millions of dollars for the cause on Labor Day Weekend every year.
“It’s certainly grown here,” said Maj. Dan Rooney, co-owner of the Grand Haven Golf Club, and founder of Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor Foundation. “Grand Haven and just the West Michigan area have been incredibly supportive — like you would hope that they would be — and proud that something is on such a national scale has started here in Grand Haven. The seed that was planted by a few believers has spread like wildfire across the country.”
Rooney spoke before the morning session golfers on Wednesday, announcing that the foundation had recently partnered with Jimmy John’s and Outback Steakhouse.
The companies are added to a seemingly ever-growing list with other national sponsors such as Budweiser and Fifth Third Bank. Patriot Golf Day now hit hits 6,000 golf courses a year, raising $3 million annually for 8,000 different recipients.
It’s a night and day difference from that first year.
Read more about this story in Today's Grand Haven Tribune.