IMG_6628Doug Albers was delighted and honored to participate in the first Folds of Honor Tournament to take place at the Floridian Golf Club in early December. In a perfect meeting of passions, profession, and hobbies, Doug Albers sponsored a team in the tournament, as well as having the privilege to play amongst greats like Bernhard Langer and Ken Duke. (Also meeting the Country Western recording artist Lee Brice!)

Founded in 2007, Folds of Honor is an organization whose motto says it all: “Honor their sacrifice. Educate their legacy.”

Founded by Major Dan Rooney upon his return home from his second tour in Iraq, the goal of the organization is to provide scholarships for the children and spouses of American service members who have fallen or been wounded.

There are more than a million and a half dependents connected to Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and while we have seen an uptick in interest and outside assistance with veteran housing, there is still a lot left to be accounted for in taking care of our servicemen and women when they return home. According to Major Rooney, nearly 9 out of 10 dependents don’t get federal education assistance, and now that the families of veterans and service members are hearing about the non-profit’s work, the demand is outpacing the supply in terms of scholarship applications. In 2015, Folds of Honor had 4917 submitted applications; 2559 of which were approved and funded via three scholarships for the children and/or spouses of those killed or disabled while in service to our nation. Their Facebook page states: “Since 2007 Folds of Honor has consistently deployed over 80% of every dollar raised to their scholarship program. In 2015, they hit a record high of 90% of each dollar going to the scholarship program.”

IMG_6635Over the last 10 years, the foundation has awarded more than 10,000 scholarships to recipients in all 50 states, for children as young as first grade, extending through young adults and spouses of service members going to college.

There are many ways that Folds of Honor generates awareness and raises funds for these scholarships. From NASCAR events, to hot air balloon launches, to corporate sponsors, Major Rooney’s passion for the cause leaves no stone unturned. There is one major focus, however. With Rooney being a PGA professional, golf has become a cornerstone of the fundraising events for Folds of Honor. In previous years, Patriot Golf Day asked golfers around the U.S. to add $1 to their green fees. Over Labor Day weekend of that first year they were able to to garner $1 million to help support scholarships! From sponsored events to professional tournaments, golf plays a large role in the efforts to thank these families for their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their loved ones.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship, or become a donor or sponsor of Fold of Honor, please visit their website for more information on how to participate!