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Heroes Invitational Nets Big Donation for Birdies for the Brave

February 7, 2012


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.—Representatives from Georgia Electric Membership Corporation’s family of companies visited TPC Sawgrass this week to present Birdies for the Brave with a check for $62,000. The donation is the result of the first annual Heroes Invitational Golf Tournament hosted by the EMCs at Southern Hills Golf and Country Club in Hawkinsville, GA, in September, where eight-time PGA TOUR winner Fred Funk served as the tournament’s guest host.

The donation will benefit Birdies for the Brave home-front groups that provide programs and services to meet the specialized needs of wounded warriors and military families. Representatives of the EMCs who attended the check presentation included Oglethorpe Power Corporation Executive Vice President Billy Ussery; Georgia Electric Membership Corporation President and CEO Paul Wood; Georgia Transmission Corporation President and CEO Mike Smith; Georgia Systems Operations Corporation President and CEO Greg Ford; Georgia Transmission Corporation Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Donovan; and Oglethorpe Power Corporation Director of Land Management Mike Fiveash.

Fiveash had the idea for the tournament while playing a round of golf with friends. He reached out to Birdies for the Brave, which was happy to support the event by providing tee gifts and donating auction items.

Funk, a Champions Tour veteran, who has been a strong supporter of the TOUR’s Birdies for the Brave initiative, was happy to lend his support by participating in the event.

“Our courageous American heroes need all of the support, respect and everything else we can possibly give them as a nation, and it’s just one little thing that we can do to give back for the freedom they give us,” said Funk.

Among the participants was retired Sgt. Michael Rollins, who suffered a traumatic brain injury during his tour of duty in Iraq in 2003.

“I’m having just the greatest day of my life,” he said during the tournament. “I just recently started golfing with the Wounded Warrior Project golf therapy program, and it’s great to be back on the course. What the EMCs and Birdies for the Brave are doing for wounded warriors through this event is phenomenal. It gives you the opportunity to get out and just be normal for a day. You’re not injured when you’re out here; you’re just like everybody else. They treat you just like family. It’s just a blessing.”

Wounded Warrior Project is one of 10 military home-front groups that are part of Birdies for the Brave.




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