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Travelers Championship hosts Operation Shower for military moms-to-be

June 18, 2014

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

CROMWELL, Conn.- As a youngster 46 years ago, Travelers Championship tournament director Nathan Grube saw first-hand the challenges involved with pregnancy in a military family. Growing up in one himself, Grube’s father was away from home in the call of duty when his mother was pregnant with his sister. How she managed baffled him.

So, these days, he wants to use his platform to make things a little less challenging, a little less baffling for others in similar positions.

On Tuesday of Travelers Championship week, Operation Shower joined forces with Birdies for the Brave, ConnectiCare and Extra TV to host a baby shower for 40 military moms-to-be. The event was hosted again this year by “Extra” correspondent Hilaria Baldwin, wife of actor Alec.

“It is really incredible. Last year, I met some of the most inspiring and courageous moms I have ever met in my life,” Baldwin said, a new and first-time mother herself. “To be back here for a second year with a child of my own is pretty incredible.”

In addition to a pampered lunch, the expectant mothers were more importantly given an arena in which to share stories and take comfort from other women in the same position. A more practical highlight of the afternoon was Operation Shower’s signature “Shower in a Box.” Each expecting mother received high-end products and gifts for moms and babies, from bottles to clothing, crib bedding, toys and diaper bags.

Much to the surprise of the guests, Alec himself even made an appearance to show his support.

“Anytime an organization like the PGA TOUR can coordinate with Travelers and their event, it’s very impressive,” Alec said. “For the PGA TOUR to get behind this with Operation Shower, Birdies for the Brave and the Travelers Championship is wonderful. I know I speak for my wife when I say it’s great to be here and be a part of this.”

At last year’s RBC Canadian Open, Hunter Mahan abandoned a two-stroke lead before the third round to join his wife, who had just gone into labor. He did so because he was able to do so. Not everyone is that fortunate. As a result, it made perfect sense for the 2007 Travelers Championship winner to attend Tuesday’s baby shower.  

“Being parents, you have a greater appreciation for what it takes to be a mom and dad and all it takes to pull it off,” Mahan said. “It can be very difficult, and to not have your significant other for support some or all of the time can be very hard. So much is on you, and there is no rest. So, to give them a day and some fun stuff is a great thing we enjoy doing. There’s nothing as special as giving back to military families.”

“Building a relationship with our community and our military families is something that became a huge priority to us about five years ago,” Grube said. “We started a military appreciation platform and this blossomed out of that. We take this opportunity to give back and say ‘thank you.’ I grew up seeing the difficulties these women face. It amazed me how my mom did it, so I just want to thank these women and all of the military for all they do for our country.”

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