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TARPON SPRINGS ADAPTIVE GOLF
CRESCENT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB
EVERY Second AND FourthTUESDAY OF THE MONTH AT 5PM
Veterans Day 2015 was a particularly important day for me. It became clear to me that I needed to do SOMETHING more to support our local wounded veterans. My lifelong friend David Windsor has been teaching and promoting Adaptive golf for most of his career well beyond 18 years. I was aware of the program for years but I never paid enough attention to see the impact on participants. I guess I was oblivious to the significant problems suffered by our veterans young and old. Unfortunately, the media prefers to report on “more important” issues and has never focused on our own wounded military members. However, as I was leaving the Veterans day banquet, I called David and told him I wanted to start another chapter of the adaptive golf program to serve north Pinellas and West Pasco Communities. Many Adaptive golfers would travel from the Tarpon Springs area all the way to Tampa for the Friday morning program at Terrace Hills.
I approached management at the Golf Course and pitched my idea to start an adaptive golf clinic at Crescent Oaks. The idea was met with an emphatic “Yes” and lots of enthusiasm. The Tarpon chapter was born that day. Over the next several months, countless hours were spent planning and promoting the program while attempting to do some fundraising along the way. It was the intention to provide a program free of charge to the Veterans who participated. On February 13, 2016, the Kickoff event for the new Adaptive Golf program was held with great participation and through the support of several generous local sponsors. Since that time, the program has started to grow and through word of mouth, new faces appear each month. Community support within the Crescent Oaks community has been overwhelming and several residents are volunteer instructors.
At the close of the first clinic, at least two participants were in tears as they explained how important this program was to them on only the first day. If only one veteran is helped, I feel the program is a success, since day 1, it has become so much more. One of the primary instructors Ken Juhn travels from Tampa for each clinic on his own time to make sure everyone participates if they wish to do so. David Windsor was the receipt of the National PGA “Patriot Award” for his service with Veterans. This year, Ken is a finalist for this prestigious award. The dedication of these gentlemen have guided the program into a national success story.
We rely solely on donations to continue to operate and we need your help. Although the program funding is held by the Adaptive Golf program in Georgia, any funds raised for Tarpon Springs are earmarked solely for this program. Absolutely no salaries are paid by the Adaptive Golf Association and only necessary operating expenses are utilized to keep the program growing. Visit us on Facebook or contact John McMenamin (Program Director) for more information how you can help. Don’t forget to stop by and see the program for yourself.
Thanks for your support and don’t forget to spread the word about the program.