‘Game On’ tournament benefits injured troops

RANCHO SANTA FE — Operation Game On will hold its annual golf tournament Aug. 15 at Morgan Run Club & Resort to raise funds for its golf rehabilitation program for combat-injured troops.
Shotgun play begins at 11 a.m.; but participants can register, practice on the driving range and compete in a putting contest starting at 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies will include the presenting of colors and a military appreciation at 10 a.m.
Pizza Port will serve pizza, smoked ribs, salmon, chicken and roasted pig on five tee boxes. United Airlines is sponsoring the beverage carts.
Dan Giordano of Bob Baker Toyota donated all par-3 events and a chance to win a Toyota.
The daylong event will end with cocktails, a dinner buffet sponsored by National University System, a silent auction and raffle, awards and guest speakers.
Soprano Barbara Tobler will sing the national anthem and former KFMB News anchor Graham Ledger will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening.
The cost is $300 per player. Sponsorship opportunities are also available, including $1,000 that will allow four active-duty military members to play.
Created in 2008 by Rancho Santa Fe resident Tony Perez, Operation Game On is a program available to soldiers returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom who are severely physically and mentally injured and going through rehabilitation at Naval Medical Center San Diego.
Participating troops receive 10 one-hour golf lessons from PGA-certified instructors followed by a professional fitting session by Jim Flick and the staff at The Kingdom at TaylorMade Golf.
With funds raised by Operation Game On they also receive golf equipment that includes custom-fitted TaylorMade clubs, bags, Adidas shoes, gloves and balls, as well as playing opportunities throughout the county. There is no cost to the soldiers, hospital or military.
Doctors, prosthetic specialists and counselors at the Naval Medical Center found that golf has become an essential link to the rehabilitation process for combat-wounded military personnel with extreme physical and mental disabilities.
“Their minds and bodies are messed up,” Perez said. “Golf helps them focus on something different. It helps them gain confidence and get back into society,” he said.
Visit operationgameon.org or contact Perez at (619) 997-0773 or pgapop@gmail.com for more information.

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