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Pilot hopes to raise $5M during Patriot Golf Day

CARLSBAD, Calif. — An Oklahoma Air National Guard pilot about to embark on his third tour of duty in Iraq hopes to raise as much as $5 million for his foundation during the second Patriot Golf Day.

Maj. Dan Rooney started Patriot Golf Day last year, when he asked golfers to donate $1 on top of their greens fees on Sept. 1. He raised $1.1 million for his Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships to families of service members who have been killed or disabled in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This year, Patriot Golf Day will span all four days of the Labor Day weekend, from Friday through Monday. With support from the PGA of America and the USGA, Rooney has recruited approximately 5,000 participating golf courses.

As part of the fundraising effort, TaylorMade Golf Co. has produced 3,000 special-edition r7 drivers to be auctioned off by golf courses, with the proceeds going to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Rooney is both a PGA teaching professional and an F-16 fighter pilot in the 125th Fighter Squadron of the Oklahoma Air National Guard.

“This cause is very near and dear to me,” Rooney said. “Not unlike the military, it is a team effort.”

Locally, on Kaua‘i, five of the seven golf courses will be participating. Some of them got an early start.

The Princeville Golf Club’s Makai Shop started collecting donations for the foundation on Wednesday and as of yesterday afternoon, raised $120. The Makai course will also host a nine-hole tournament tomorrow with a portion of the entry fee going to Folds of Honor. The cost is $40 in which $10 will go to the foundation.

The Kiahuna Golf Club made up its donations boxes yesterday. Director of Golf Matt Torrey said the staff has set it up so that golfers and vets could donate any amount they wanted, instead of a $1 of their greens fees.

“Last year, we raised about $200 and the Kiahuna Golf Club matched it. That’s going to be our plan again this year — to match what we raise,” Torry said.

For more information, visit patriotgolfday.com

Participating course information:

• Kaua‘i Lagoons 241-6000

• Kiahuna Golf Club 742-9595

• Po‘ipu Bay Golf Course 742-8711

• Puakea Golf Course 245-8756

• Princeville Courses 826-5000

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