Swinging into Support

Veterans and Community Members Come Together to Golf in Support of Local Veterans

American flags and golf balls were flying throughout the course on June 4 for the annual Chief Moguago Veterans Golf Outing. Players were relieved to see another year that COVID-19 did not interrupt their festivities at Binder Park Golf Course. The skill level and scores were not measured amongst the civilians and Vets. The primary goal that day was to be a part of something bigger than a round of golf: to support and bring aid to those who served our country.

Local news reporter Jordan Carson set the event in motion by singing the national anthem, followed by NHBP Veteran and Ogitchedaw Society Chairperson Doug Taylor delivering a prayer to bless the day and to honor those who have served and those who are still serving our country.

Taylor assisted in raising the American flag again this year, and NHBP’s Culture Department blessed the outing by Smudging. The Ogitchedaw drum group then Sang and Drummed before the Veterans from American Legion Post 196 honored the fallen soldiers with a 21-gun salute.

Pride and respect were heavy on the minds and hearts as the golfers took to their carts to begin the day.

Unity for a Common Cause

Tribal Members and Veterans were among those in attendance on the course, showing support for one another.

“This event is very dear to me because I am a Native American and the Chairperson [of the Ogitchedaw Society]. Our culture is that our job is to take care of the Tribe during war. When we’re not at war, protecting the Tribe, our job is to help everybody within the Tribe by doing whatever needs to be done. Taking care of the families who need help,” Taylor said. “So that extends out, and we are dedicated to helping local Veterans. It doesn’t matter what the case is, and it doesn’t matter if you are a Tribal Veteran. It’s a Veteran in general. It’s kind of like a brotherhood in that. We’re trained to care for one another on the battlefield. When you come home, you need the opportunity to give back to your community.”

For some participants, like Tribal Council Vice Chairperson Dorie Rios, the outing is special to them because a family member of theirs has served.

“To be here means to support all of our Veterans, past, present and future, and to support those agencies that give back to those Veterans, VFWs and Eagle Lodges. I think it is really important to support when the Veterans come home. My father was a Veteran, and he served in WWII.”

Another Successful Year

There was much laughter to be shared, food to be eaten and prizes to be won upon the teams completing their round of golf. FireKeepers Casino Hotel, the title sponsor for the event, provided an extensive spread of food for the participants and volunteers. As the winners were unveiled and claimed their prizes, one could see how the camaraderie had grown amongst the hobby and serious golf teams throughout the day.

Golf enthusiast Mindi Harmon has participated in the golf outing for eight years. As the day ended, she happily shared her feelings about the event.

“I love the cause, and I love the Tribe. I am a Tribal Member, so it’s personal to me. My favorite part of the day is golf. I love golf, and every year a lot of money is raised for the Veterans, which is amazing.”

Astonishingly, the event was even more successful than last year. With a rise in sponsors, volunteers and golfers, it is no wonder that the record for money raised was broken again. A very pleased Tribal Council Treasurer and Ogitchedaw Society Ex-Officio Board Member Dr. Jeff Chivis gave a short speech to close the evening.

“We appreciate you being here yearly to help us honor America’s Veterans and raise much-needed funds for our local Veterans’ organizations. The Veterans in our Tribe, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, are held in very high esteem in our culture, and they’re a vital component of many of our cultural traditions. With that said, our Veterans and our Tribe take great pride in supporting other local Veterans’ organizations as well. Last year, we raised a record of $88,000. This year the total number that we raised is $92,950,” Chivis said.

Mark your calendars for next year’s golf outing on June 2, 2023. It is always a great day for golf and a great day to give.

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