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Soldiers play golf to benefit wounded combat veterans
The fourth annual U.S. Wounded Soldiers Golf Tournament will be held today at the Cape Girardeau Country Club in Cape Girardeau with all proceeds going to benefit soldiers injured in action.
The tournament is sponsored by Premier Rehab Physical Therapy, which has raised $24,000 for the U.S. Wounded Soldiers Foundation. Its fundraising goal for this year is $12,000 through donations and entry fees.
Summer Riney, who owns Premier Rehab with her husband, Dennis, said that after their first year in business, they wanted to give back to the community and began researching organizations they could sponsor. One of the therapists who worked there at the time had a family member who was in the military.
Riney said the money raised will go to soldiers sent to a hospital in Germany for rehabilitation; they often are there for months with only the supplies they arrived with. The foundation provides basic necessities such as clothing as well as comfort items such as music and stationary to use to write letters home.
Many of the tournament participants are soldiers, including Sgt. Jesse Southern of the U.S. Army National Guard, who will be deployed to Afghanistan in June.
Southern said he wanted to focus attention on the wounded members of the military the tournament will support, not the players.
"Those guys who are hurt are the ones who should be recognized," Southern said Thursday. "Their lives will never be the same."
Each year the golf tournament features a wounded soldier, and this year Marine Sgt. Gregory Edwards is attending. Edwards was injured Oct. 21, 2006, when a hidden explosive detonated while he was on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq, leaving him a double amputee with a shattered left hand. According to Riney, Edwards has endured 27 surgeries and an extensive physical rehabilitation regimen that he devised himself and will meet participants and guests at the first hole.
Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start to the 18-hole tournament at 1 p.m. There are also individual competitions, including a longest-drive challenge, longest-putt challenge, closest-to-the-pin challenge and a $10,000 hole-in-one contest.
To find out more about the U.S. Wounded Soldiers Golf Tournament, visit premierrehabonline.com, call 573-803-1765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
250 Country Club Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO