‘Tee Up for Heroes’ to benefit WWA

A fundraiser for Wounded Warrior Anglers will be held on Monday, Nov. 10, at Pelican’s Nest Golf Club, at Pelican Landings in Bonita Springs.

battle of matlachaKathy Swift, who is putting together the event, said the golf tournament, “Tee Up for Heroes,” is completely filled as of Monday, Oct. 20. She said they have 30 foursome teams participating.

Wounded Warrior Anglers Vice President Judy Souders said they have 10 veterans golfing in the tournament, as well as six veterans volunteering the day of the event.

“We are literally maxed out. For the first one here we are doing fine,” Swift said. “Hopefully next year, since this is the first time, we will be able to use both courses.”

The inaugural “Tee Up for Heroes” golf tournament begins at 12:30 p.m.

It will include MREs, meals ready to eat, for the golfers, to keep with the theme of the day, honoring veterans.

“A lot of these guys when they are out in battle they carry these MREs because they can be gone for a few days,” Swift explained. “So they open these packets up and that’s their meal.”

On the day of the tournament, the golfers will receive their very own MREs, or a boxed lunch, of a chicken wrap, fruit, cookies and a drink.

Instead of having the normal flag at each hole on the golf course, kids will be standing at each hole with an American flag.

The dinner, which will begin around 5 p.m., will include hors d’oeuvre, the main course, a drink, entertainment and a silent auction.

Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased at http://www.woundedwarrioranglers.org, or by calling Swift at (239) 948-8478.

Swift said she has room for approximately 50 more people.

Former private musician of President Eisenhower, John Felice, will provide the entertainment during dinner. Felice, who performed in the Navy band is 83 years old.

“Boy can he play,” she said.

The Pelican Landing Singers will also perform patriotic songs, as well as songs for each branch of the military.

The silent auction will include such items as paintings, golf certificates, a cruise, a three-day trip to the Kentucky Derby with all expenses paid, baskets of wine, and two dinners for six people at two different homes.

All of the proceeds from the tournament and dinner will be donated to Wounded Warrior Anglers.

“Wounded Warrior Anglers is very honored and fortunate to have that committee from Pelicans Nest Golf community to represent us and honor our veterans,” Souders said. “In turn Wounded Warrior Anglers can honor more wounded warriors through our organization.”

Although this is the fourth tournament Swift has held for wounded warriors, this is the first one she is hosting in honor of Wounded Warrior Anglers.

“Keith Campbell told me about Wounded Warrior Anglers,” she said.

Swift said she got started with the fundraisers because of her son Michael who was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

“(When) I got started, my son was a wounded warrior, but at the time I did not know it,” Swift said. “All these guys need our support.”

After hearing about her son having traumatic brain injury, it inspired her to keep going, so she can continue to help wounded warriors.

Over the years, through National Coalition for Patriots, she has helped raise money for Corey Kent, a Cape Coral resident who stepped on an IED while deployed in Afghanistan.

“He was at Walter Reed for almost three years,” she said.

She also helped raise funds for wounded warrior Josh Harwig, who her son Michael knows. With the help of the community, they raised enough for a $62,000 Toyota Tundra in three and a half weeks to help with transportation because his wife was having a baby.

Dave and Judy Souders, founders of Wounded Warrior Anglers.

Dave and Judy Souders, founders of Wounded Warrior Anglers.

Wounded Warrior Anglers of America, Inc. was founded in 2012 by Dave and his wife Judy Souders. Its mission is to “help rehabilitate the mind, body and soul of all service members who have been injured, wounded or disabled in the line of duty no matter what their era of service.”

The organization helps its warriors by taking them out on the water for a day of fishing. This outing helps promote a friendly and peaceful environment to help warriors heal.

Wounded Warrior Anglers also help the warrior’s caregivers by treating them to a day of relaxation at the spa.

‘Celebrating the Diversity’


Article published in the Jan. 4, 2014 SanTan Sun News

Chandler Multicultural Festival celebrates diversity

Residents from all walks of life will come together this month to honor the diversity among them during the 19th annual Chandler Multicultural Festival.

“It’s our way of celebrating the diversity in our community,” says Chandler Special Events Coordinator Hermelinda Llamas. “We like to showcase that diversity through our entertainment, our activities and the food.”

This year the festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat., Jan. 18, in the downtown Chandler Public Library courtyard, 22 S. Delaware St. Admission and parking are free. The festival attracts between 5,500 and 7,500 people throughout the day.

“We do get a pretty good crowd,” Llamas says.

The event is part of the city’s month long Celebration of Unity. For more information about the Celebration of Unity, visit chandleraz.gov/unity.

The Chandler Multicultural Festival kicks off with the fourth annual naturalization ceremony.

“The Department of Homeland Security does the choosing, we provide them with an outlet to do it,” Llamas says of the 200 honorees. “They choose people who are here locally in the East Valley, Chandler and surrounding areas. It’s a little more personalized for them.”

More than 600 individuals have become American citizens through the naturalization ceremony.

“It’s really a neat ceremony and everyone is accepting of the different cultures,” Llamas says, adding that it showcases how they live and puts their heritage on display.

There will be day-long entertainment for those who attend the Chandler Multicultural Festival. The event will also feature entertainment by a number of different groups, including a Mexican folk music duo, a belly dancing troupe, children who are learning Korean drumming and a professional Japanese drumming organization.

Winners of the Creative Expression Competition involving Chandler school age children who produced artwork, essays and performances centering on the unity theme will be displayed.

There will also be a variety of food to try, including Caribbean, southern, Mexican, Native American and American cuisine.

Lisa’s Creatures will bring different animals from various regions of the world. Llamas says it will be fun for the kids as they learn what the animals eat and some history about the creatures.