Veterans and civilians alike gather to golf in support of aid for local Veterans
Albatrosses and birdies were flying through the skies at the annual Chief Moguago Veterans Golf Outing Friday, June 4. After missing a year due to COVID-19, serious and hobby golfers alike spent the morning and afternoon driving and putting across the greens of Binder Park Golf Course to help support local Veterans organizations.
The day’s festivities began with a performance of the National Anthem by local news reporter Jordan Carson, playing of taps, and a prayer for fallen soldiers from NHBP Chief Executive Officer Barry Skutt Jr.
NHBP Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Veteran Doug Taylor assisted in the raising of the American flag. Members of NHBP’s Culture Department also Smudged to bless the outing, and Drummed and Sang before Veterans from American Legion Post 196 honored fallen soldiers with a 21-gun salute.
Reverence, respect and revelry were in the air.
Veterans at the forefront
A handful of the 220 putters on the course were Veterans themselves, participating each year to show support for the Tribe as well as their fellow Veterans.
For local Veterans like Ralph Gottschalk, Harold Siler, Bob Neighy and Gary Garrison, there’s a fellowship and comradery in the event that extends beyond the plush green fairways.
The proceeds from the annual outing will be distributed to local Veterans organization in order to assist Veterans in need. Recipients will be selected by the Ogitchedaw Society Board later this summer.
Goldner has participated in the running of the event in some capacity for the past nine years, witnessing the growth and transformation of the outing.
What began as a small gathering to support education scholarships for Tribal Members has grown into a spectacular event, he said.
Tribal Council Treasurer and Ex-Officio Board Member of the Ogitchedaw Society Board Dr. Jeff Chivis was excited to be able to get back to hosting the event in person after last year’s cancellation.
Now with dozens of sponsors, numerous friendly volunteers from every faction of NHBP’s organizations, and over 200 participating golfers, growth is an understatement. Yet, for such a big event, the neighbors-helping-neighbors and community atmosphere is strong.
Participants and volunteers alike walked away with bellies full of delicious food provided on the course and after play by FireKeepers Casino Hotel, sun-kissed cheeks, some goodies and a sense of comradery and contribution to a worthy cause.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel CEO Kathy George has participated in the outing for eight years. Aside from being able to give back to the community, especially Veterans who “gave so much for us,” George said she’s glad to share a little about NHBP’s rich culture with non-Native participants.
For the full photo gallery, click here.