Operation Warrior Wishes wants to thank everyone who attended, volunteered, sponsored and supported our 3rd Annual Warrior Wishes Scramble. The outing was a huge success thanks to you and fun was had by all!
It all started Sunday night when more than 30 warriors traveled to the Chicagoland area from 18 different states across the country. After checking into the Hampton Inn in Elgin, my dad & Ralph greeted many of them in the lobby to escort them to dinner at Alley 64 in St.Charles IL.
Alley 64 worked with local businesses to treat the warriors and golf sponsors to a delicious meal and a few drinks before the big day. This was the first time we had ever had a preparty for the outing and needless to say this will be an annual tradition going forward. Everyone had an awesome time!
The Warriors made their way back to the hotel after dinner & we stayed up all night tying up loose ends and putting the final touches on our event. After weeks of planning, The Warrior Wishes team and volunteers arrived at Royal Hawk Country Club in St Charles as the sun began to rise Monday morning.
While we were busy at the course hanging flags, Setting up the silent auction, and patriotically decorating the course, The mayor of Elgin, Dave Kaptain, greeted the Warriors at the hotel before they made their way to the golf course via Police escort thanks to the Elgin PD.
On an absolutely beautiful sunny 80 degree picturesque day in Chicago, the Warriors arrived at the Royal Hawk Country Club to a warm welcome by the Fox River Countryside fire department who lined the entrance of the course. Firefighters greeted them as they entered the course & thanked them for their service.
Each warrior checked in and received goody bags which included a Red “Captain” Operation Wishes embroidered polo, golf balls thanks to Motorola Solutions, Scorzies (the coolest way to keep your drink cold & keep score on the course), sunglasses, socksmith crazy socks & more.
The Warriors enjoyed breakfast thanks to our friends at Dunkin Donuts & had the opportunity to browse the silent auction and explore the club before everyone else started showing up to check in.
It was awesome to see and reconnect with so many Warriors we had hosted in the past & to meet a lot of the guys my dad had hosted along the way and told me all about. It reminded me of my wedding day, I wanted to make sure to get a few quality minutes with everyone, but didn’t have enough time in the day to get the one on one time I would have liked to. I’m so thankful to all the Warriors who came out to be with us. It was truly amazing!
Once all the golfers checked in with our awesome volunteer crew, we made our way outside to the back of the clubhouse for the opening ceremonies. A huge 25 foot flag was proudly displayed & surrounded by flags representing each branch of the military and one to honor and remember the Warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Congressman Randy Hultgrenn & St Charles Mayor Ray Rogina welcomed everyone to the event and showed sincere gratitude to the Warriors and their families for their selfless service & sacrifices.
Veteran Bill Morgan thankfully filled in at the last minute to sing the national anthem and it was officially time to tee off at our 3rd annual Warrior Wishes Scramble.
Every time we make warrior wishes come true at a game, we do our best to provide an experience. We want the Warriors to have a fun filled day filled with unforgettable memories. It’s more than just going to a game. We used that same logic on the golf course. As I mentioned before, we spent months planning this event. Our board of directors had many brainstorming sessions coming up with creative ideas that could help us create a fun filled unforgettable day for not only the Warriors, but for every golfer in attendance at our scramble. Golf can be a very serious sport, we wanted to create a competitive atmosphere, but more importantly make sure everyone had fun. That was our #1 priority. Thanks to all the creative minds on our team and a little help from our sponsors, we accomplished that mission.
It all started on hole 1, Yarden wines was there sampling their wine as the golfers came by. Guys who don’t typically drink wine told us they enjoyed it. Pinky’s up!
The 2nd hole was sponsored by ChiroOne. They offered everyone free spine checks on the course.
A brand new Nissan Titan with a price tag of over $50,000 was displayed on hole 3. Our friends at St. Charles Nissan provided an opportunity for the golfers to win the car by getting a hole in one! Our friend Andrew who has attended all 3 of our outings hit the flag stick and almost won, but unfortunately the ball did not drop in the hole…
A beautiful mansion overlooked the 4th hole which was sponsored by our friends at Konicek & Dillon. They have been a proud sponsor for 3 years! This year they hosted a long drive contest. Warrior Jeff Sanders crushed a ball off the tee almost 350 yards!!!
Liberty Mutual offered everyone the opportunity to save some money on their insurance on the 5th hole.
The 6th hole was sponsored by Culvers in South Elgin. Culvers gave each golfer the chance to get a little closer to the pin by giving each golfer a frisbee to toss. Where it landed is where they teed off from.
We got to see who was the most accurate golfer on Hole #7 which was sponsored by Patriot Landscaping (Owned by Marine Dave Jelinek). A rope was placed down the middle of the fairway & closest ball to the rope won the contest.
We got creative on hole 8 & gave everyone a chance to win some money. Our friend & Board Member, Bill Heaton & his family sponsored the “Vegas Hole”. Each golfer could place a bet on their tee shot. If the ball landed within 10 feet of the hole on the par 3, they would double their money. If not, it goes towards making Warrior Wishes come true. Closest to the pin also took home $100.
The 9th hole was everyone’s favorite & most challenging hole of the day. La-Z-Boy furniture galleries in South Elgin sponsored the hole and donated a recliner for the golfers to tee out of. Some of the best golfers on the course struggled with this one & it was hilarious watching everyone try to figure out how to hit a golf ball while sitting down in a recliner…
Halfway thru the day, the wonderful people at Home Run Inn pizza provided lunch to everyone on the course. Volunteers on golf carts distributed the pizzas.
Speaking of Pizza, each group smiled and said cheese on hole 10. Baney construction sponsored the group picture hole.
Bullard Publishing provided the awesome military artwork displayed on hole 11. Jason Bullard created our logo and does incredible work! If you know anyone who has served in the military, is a firefighter or police officer, you have to visit www.nogreaterloveart.com to find the perfect gift for them!
Everyone was blown away on hole 12, sponsored by EGO and the South Elgin Home Depot. Once each group finished the hole, the golfers had to attempt to sink a putt using a leaf blower on the green.
VLK Law sponsored the long drive contest on the back 9. VLK has been a proud sponsor of our event all 3 years. We cant thank them enough for the support!
And our Medal of Honor Sponsor for the 2nd straight year sponsored the closest to the pin contest on hole 14 for a Rocket Fizz prize pack including Corn on the Cobb & Buffalo Wing soda…
Don Gaylord, AAMS for Edward Jones sponsored the 15th hole and dedicated the hole in honor of Korean War Veteran, Chicago Cop & Warrior Wishes supporter Carl Menconi. Don was also my chauffeur for the day.
We dedicated the 16th hole to SSG Jacob Frazier. Jacob made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. We were honored to have his father in attendance and help keep Jacobs legacy alive. The Alley 64 girls were also on the 16th hole distributing water & Beer provided by Elgin Beverage.
One golfer in every foursome walked away with a brand new New Era cap on Hole 17. Closest to the pin in each group won their choice of cap. New era has been supporting our mission for longer than we have been having our annual golf outings. They make the best caps in the industry & we are thankful for their partnership!
The 18th and final hole of the day was sponsored by our other Medal of Honor sponsor, Toppel Plumbing. The captain of each group spun the “Club Roulette” wheel. The wheel had clubs ranging from a pitching wedge to a driver. Whatever club the wheel landed on is what everyone in the group had to tee off with. Owner of Toppel Plumbing, Mark, is a Marine veteran himself and was excited and proud to be apart of our mission. He was even quoted saying “this was one of the best days of my life!” He is already looking forward to partnering up with us again next year.
After everyone had fun golfing on the course, they made their way back to the clubhouse where they were greeted by the house band from The School of Rock in Geneva. The band is made up of all kids! They were an awesome addition to our event this year and created a fun atmosphere as they rocked out to some classic songs.
Our Emcee, Mars from Charizma entertainment kept the party going as everyone filtered in off the course and enjoyed dinner.
Once everyone was seated, we introduced and recognized all the Warriors in attendance & it was time for my dad & I to take the mic. We thanked everyone from the volunteers to the Warriors & the sponsors for helping us make our 3rd annual scramble a huge success.
Followed by sharing how we never imagined our father & son mission would be where it is today. It has been a true honor to have made more than 1700 Warrior wishes come true at almost 500 events across the country since we began our mission in 2012.
Our mission is more than just to host Warriors at sporting events. It’s about showing these Warriors, who selflessly serve our country, and their families, who support their Warriors, that there are people out there that care. We want them to know that their service and sacrifice has not gone unnoticed and will never be forgotten. We also hope our mission inspires others to find a way to give back. And of course we always want to provide a memorable experience for everyone involved.
We then invited a few Warriors on to the putting green to share their experience with us to the audience. “Cookie” Dalgo who was a guest of ours in New Orleans & Davin Dumar a guest of ours from Detroit shared their stories.
We thanked cookie & Davin for sharing and reminded everyone that all these Warriors gave some but some Warriors gave us all, as my dad began to choke up.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when we took a moment of silence to honor the legacies of Air Force SSG Jacob Frazier, Army PFC Aaron Toppen, Army Captain Travis Patriquin, Army SSG Jason Vazquez & Korean War Veteran Carl Menconi.
Surviving members of each family were invited to join us on the green to present Rose Menconi with Artwork from our friends at Honor America’s Valor. “Rose’s husband, Carl, was a true patriot” said Don Gaylord as he did his best to fight back tears. Carl served in the Army during the Korean War & served on the Chicago Police department for 35 years! He started the Edgewater veterans group in his community and was a proud supporter of Operation Warrior Wishes. He passed away this year at the age of 85. It was a true honor to call Carl a friend & he is dearly missed. Together we made warrior wishes come true!
We also presented a framed picture honoring the legacy of SSG Jason Vazquez to surviving members of his family. SSG Vazquez’ uncle broke into tears as he shared his Nephews legacy with us.
As we wiped away the tears, the families made their way back to their seats to a standing ovation. It was truly an honor to share these Warriors legacies with everyone in attendance and look forward to continuing to keep their loved ones legacies alive in the future.
After a long day filled with fun & inspiration, it was time to announce the 50/50 raffle winner & the tournament champions. Air Force Warrior Brad Schnur from St Louis walked away with over $600 in the 50/50 raffle.
With an 11 under par score, Lowell Bike, Jim Neff, Jon Puklin, Mike Mowell & their team captain Army SGT Mike Cain celebrated as champions of the 3rd annual warrior wishes scramble with a group high five!
They were presented warrior Wishes jackets for the win.
As we came to a close at our 3rd annual Warrior Wishes Scramble I thanked the Warriors, Sponsors, volunteers & everyone at the event one last time and invited them to follow our upcoming “All32in17” mission. I reminded everyone that when we say “together we make warrior wishes come true” we mean EVERYONE together. It’s not just me and my dad, it’s not just me my dad & the sponsors, it’s EVERYONE. We are thankful for all the support and want all our supporters to know that every time they see a warrior smiling having their warrior wishes come true, that they are a part of that smile.
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!!!
Thank You to all the Sponsors & Volunteers who helped make our 3rd Annual Scramble a success!