Tom Carpus, a 2009 Ping Regional Fitter of the Year, is a PGA Master Professional at Kennett Square (Pennsylvania) Golf and Country Club, and senior vice chairman of the PGA of America Rules Committee.
Tom Carpus on the importance of hosting a Patriot Golf Day Pro-Am:
We have hosted a charity pro-am every September since 1997, and for years we’ve used it to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. When my fellow PGA Professional Major Dan Rooney founded Folds of Honor and Patriot Golf Day, it was a game-changer. I heard him speak at the PGA Annual Meeting and quickly realized that this was a special cause for some very special people that needed our full attention. I was grateful to get the support of the members at Kennett Square Golf and Country Club to add them as a beneficiary and now our pro-am helps both charities. Using my friend and colleague Frank Gumpert’s fantastic Patriot Golf Day event as a model, we’ve added some military touches by including our local American Legion for the 21 Gun Salute, Taps and the National Anthem. Major Ed Pulido from Folds of Honor has attended regularly and speaks at the post-golf reception, along with other special guests over the years. We have a lunch, provide a very nice tee gift, host a silent and live auction, and deliver a first-class awards reception. The entry fee is $250, with sponsorships ranging from $600-$5,000. The format is one professional with three amateurs, with two best balls of four, plus individual professional counting. The event is open to members and their guests, along with the representatives from the local sponsors.
Tom Carpus on the business impact of hosting a Patriot Golf Day Pro-Am:
We raised $28,000 for both charities last year, with more than $210,000 raised since Folds of Honor was added in 2007. For the 14-year history of the event, we have raised a total of $320,000. Our goal is to be able to give out as many “Named Scholarships” as possible to the military families, many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. From a golf and business perspective, it brings added players and exposure to Kennett Square Golf and Country Club. While the event has the typical benefits of food & beverage revenue, golf car revenue and some golf shop sales, it’s a celebration of God, country and golf. Freedom isn’t free, and it’s a great day helping those who deserve our help the most.
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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.