2015 INAUGURAL MVP MEMORIAL FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT
Hidden Creek Country Club
October 12, 2015
On an impossibly perfect Columbus Day, 120 golfers were greeted by dozens of enthusiastic volunteers to enjoy crystal blue skies and temperatures in the low-70’s at the kickoff of our 2015 Inaugural MVP Memorial Golf Tournament. Matt’s presence was felt along the golf course and into the silent/live auction and dinner/awards program where themes of baseball, patriotism and country music were evident throughout the day.
The event enjoyed widespread support from many generous guests, volunteers, sponsors and donors, and ultimately generated $70,000 for the Foundation.
First Award from MVP Memorial Foundation goes to Warrior Canine Connection
We presented a check for $20,000 to Rick Younts, founder of the Warrior Canine Connection, for the outstanding work WCC does to enrich the lives of wounded veterans. Through this innovative program, veterans with PTSD/TBI learn to train service dogs to be placed with another veteran with severe mobility or other physical impairments. The concept of a no-fail mission helps veterans with PTSD/TBI overcome their own fears and doubts about the world and facilitates their re-entry to family and community life.
Our selection of the Warrior Canine Connection was motivated by Matt’s admiration and respect for veterans and the sacrifices they make for our freedoms. The non-pharmaceutical approach to treating PTSD and it’s efficiency – that one dog can touch as many as 60 lives through it’s training and final placement – were factors that resonated with us. Learning that the program worked primarily with Golden Retrievers and Labradors sealed the deal as Matt’s beloved playmate of 8 years was Dory, a Golden Retriever.
We set out with modest financial goals; what mattered most, was to create an experience that honored Matt and had participants thinking as they walked to their cars, “I can’t wait to do this again next year”. We believe we succeeded on that front. This unanticipated financial success is a tribute to Matt and the effect his humble and loving personality had on others. The funds raised allow us to immediately make an impact in his name by awarding support to programs for veterans, recognizing student leadership, and supporting programs and medical research that aim to treat and prevent myocarditis in healthy young people.
Thanks to everyone who shared in the joy with us and made Matt’s event a success. Be sure to Save the Date for the Second Annual MVP Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday, October 3, 2016 at Hidden Creek Country Club in Reston, Virginia.
On Saturday, October 17th we were privileged to attend WCC graduation ceremonies and meet trainers, puppy parents, veterans and many of the graduating service dogs that play a role in this remarkable program.
Here’s a glimpse of the WCC Class of 2015:
The 18th Hole Sponsorship Project raised $4,000 from Friends of Matt in Northern Virginia and across the country.