Gala, golf tournament supports families of military heroes

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Steve Smith likens the evolution of a charity golf tournament benefiting military families to the planting and nurturing of grass seeds.

Now in its second year, the Folds of Honor Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner is showing more than just signs of life. Last year, a combined tournament and luncheon raised $10,000 for college scholarships for the children and spouses of military personnel disabled or killed in combat.

Smith, founder and co-chairman the Parker tournament, says the success of the inaugural event invigorated the six-member organizing team made up of himself, co-chairwoman Mary White, donations director Tim Swanson, Laura McDonald, Ella Smith and Cecil Wilson.

“At the end meeting last September or October, I looked at them and said, ‘next year, we’re going to make $50,000,’ and nobody blinked,” Smith said.

The national foundation took notice of the Parker group’s work and sent them a plaque for being in the top 100 earning Folds of Honor events.

The two-day 2013 event, which includes a gala and silent auction for non-golfers and some of those playing in the tournament, is being hosted by a new course, The Club at Pradera. Smith says Pradera was looking to get involved with Folds of Honor, and “we dropped it right in their lap." He believes Pradera will become the venue of choice for years to come.

The $100-a-plate gala is scheduled for July 28 and includes an acoustic set by local favorites the Tripping Griswolds and a dinner with delicacies like steak Wellington wraps. A simultaneous silent auction features donations from 60 Douglas and Arapahoe county businesses, such as signed Peyton Manning and John Elway footballs and an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2014 U.S. Open.

The golf tournament, in conjunction with a raffle and Qdoba-catered lunch, will be July 29. Last year, 65 golfers took to the links. Smith expects that number to climb this year, particularly because Douglas County is so supportive of military causes.

“We live in one of the areas in the country that, they get this. You don’t have to explain it to them,” he said.

The event not only pays homage to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, but is also a tribute to Smith’s and White’s fathers. The group named the scholarship in honor of Mary White’s dad, who spent 30 years in the Marine Corps, and Smith’s dad, an Army veteran who was wounded twice while serving in Korea.

For more information or to register for the golf tournament and/or gala, visit www.foldsofhonor-parker.org or call 720-635-1788.

Folds of Honor events

Who: Parker-based nonprofit Folds of Honor Foundation, county residents, golfers

What: Charity golf tournament/lunch ($150 per person) and dinner gala/silent auction ($100 per person), packages available

When: 4:30 p.m. July 28 (gala) and 10 a.m. July 29 (golf)

Where: The Club at Pradera, 5225 Raintree Drive, Parker

Why: to raise scholarship money for children and spouses of those killed or disabled in combat

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