Swing into spring to help Soldiers
Shawn Land, C Co., 1st Bn., 223rd Avn. Regt. MI-17 instructor pilot, attempts a putt during last year's AER campaign golf tournament at Silver Wings Golf Course. This year's tournament to benefit the program that helps Soldiers help Soldiers is April 20.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 12, 2012) -- People on Fort Rucker and the surrounding communities finally have an excuse to work on their golf game by contributing to a worthy cause as the installation gets ready for the 22nd annual Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union Golf Tournament April 20.

The tournament is put on every year to benefit Fort Rucker's Army Emergency Relief and is AACFCU's way of giving back to the Soldiers of Fort Rucker, said Lisa Hales, vice president of marketing for AACFCU.

"A lot of our membership is military," she said, "so it's important for us to give back to those men and women who serve us."

All of the proceeds from the golf tournament, which are gathered through contributions from corporate sponsors, vendors and entry fees, will be going to AER, according to Joel Faulk, vice president of lending at AACFCU.

"Everything above the cost of the tournament will go to AER," he said. "[AACFCU's] board is very generous and every year they've actually given more than the money that is raised."

AER is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to Soldiers, retirees, their Family members and survivors, said Mimi Brooks, AER officer. AER provides assistance for a number of different types of needs like food, rent, gas, car repair, emergency medical and dental or funeral expenses, she added.

"Our assistance is typically provided in a [no-interest] assistance loan or a grant," she said. "Grants are usually for extraordinary circumstances if the Family doesn't have the ability to pay on a loan."

The relief program also has a scholarship program for spouses and Family members who are working on their first undergraduate degree, Brooks explained, with some new programs that include: initial furniture setup with essential economic pieces for homes for Soldiers such as newly married military couples; expansion on the dental category to include loans for all dental needs, not just emergencies; and down payments on a new car if the cost to repair a Soldiers car far exceeds the value of the car.

It's important to give back and help AER with the golf tournament because it does so much to help Soldiers, said Faulk. Last year's tournament assisted in supporting the AER campaign that raised $121,395, and AER provided $307,600 in assistance to 235 Soldiers, retirees, Family members and survivors.

"We need people to come play," he said. "That's where the donation money comes from."

Prizes will also be available for many different categories with the biggest prize being awarded to anyone able to sink a hole-in-one during the tournament. If a person is able to accomplish a hole-in-one, he or she will be able to choose a 2012 Nissan Altima or 2012 Jeep Wrangler as their prize, said Faulk.

Other prizes include $300 for closest to the pin at one of the par-3 holes, $200 for closest to the pin at a separate par-3 hole and prizes for the best five net scores and best gross scores, he added.

"The majority of people will get a prize of some sort," said Faulk. "We have lots of door prizes and everyone that enters into the tournament will get an entry gift."

The entry fee is $50 for SWGC members and $60 for non-members and includes a hamburger lunch, cart, and green fees, said Hales, adding that people can also pay $200 to be corporate sponsors, which allows entry for two people to play.

The tournament is open to the public and registration begins at 10 a.m. on the day of the event with a shotgun start at noon.

For more information, call 1 (800) 448-4096 or 598-4411 ext. 1306 or 1302.

Page last updated Thu April 12th, 2012 at 12:20