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Dick's Weeks-Long Promotion Benefits Military

On a visit to the John Deere Classic, Alex Pracht (middle) receives news that he has been awarded a free house through Birdies for the Brave as Ted Purdy (right) looks on.
Greg Boll/John Deere Classic

July 6, 2011


SILVIS, Ill.—During this week’s John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Chase and the Military Warriors Support Foundation helped the PGA TOUR prove that Together, anything’s possible.”

During a special ceremony on July 6, Dick’s Sporting Goods presented PGA TOUR player Frank Lickliter II with a check for more than $1.1 million earmarked for Birdies for the Brave, a national military outreach initiative proudly supported by the TOUR that benefits nine military homefront groups—including the Navy SEAL Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project supported by Lickliter. PGA TOUR player Ted Purdy, who supports the Military Warriors Support Foundation, also attended the ceremony.

The donation is the result of an in-store fundraising campaign conducted at more than 440 Dick’s Sporting Goods retail stores across the U.S. from Memorial Day, May 30, through July 4 in which customers had the opportunity to make a donation of $1, $5 or $10 to Birdies for the Brave. At the end of the fundraising campaign, Dick’s made a pledge to match donated funds up to $250,000. The matching funds were earned in just the first two weeks of the promotion, when more than $280,000 was donated by customers. Proceeds will be disbursed among the nine homefront groups, which provide critical programs and services to meet the specialized needs of wounded warriors and military families. 

“It has been an honor to partner with the PGA TOUR and Birdies for the Brave to help give back to those who sacrifice so much in service to our country,” said Dick’s Sporting Goods Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Lauren Hobart. “We all owe the courageous men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces and their families an enormous debt of gratitude, and this fundraising campaign is a way to show our support and appreciation.”

David Pillsbury, President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties and Executive Vice President, Championship Management, echoed those sentiments. “It has been a sincere privilege to work with Dick’s Sporting Goods on this fundraising campaign, and we are overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity demonstrated by Dick’s and its loyal customers. The success of this program will not only help Birdies for the Brave military homefront groups fulfill their charitable missions on behalf of wounded warriors and military families but will also go a long way toward showing our American heroes how much their efforts are appreciated by citizens across the U.S.”

Also during the presentation, Military Warriors Support Foundation Founder General Leroy Sisco made a surprise presentation of a 100-percent mortgage-free home sponsored by Chase and presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods to Illinois native and Purple Heart recipient Sgt. Dennis (Alex) Pracht. A single father and a 10-year veteran of the Illinois National Guard, Pracht—who was stationed at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.—was seriously injured when his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device during his tour of duty in Afghanistan in June 2009.  Pracht’s two best friends were killed in the explosion, and he sustained numerous life-altering injuries, including traumatic brain injury, multiple lumbar spine fractures and loss of hearing.

Prior to his tour of duty as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Pracht served a two-year combat tour in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to the Purple Heart, Pracht earned the Bronze Star, Joint Services Commendation Medal and numerous others for his valor and dedicated service.

But the award that will undoubtedly be most meaningful is the new home that will help bring stability, educational opportunities and hope for Pracht and his eight-month-old daughter. 

For more information on Birdies for the Brave, including a list of golf clubs across the U.S. that are hosting Birdies for the Brave fundraising events through the end of the year, please click here


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