From left to right: Gregg Foster, Madelyn Foster, Jamie Kellner at the post-Veterans Day Golf Tournament cocktail party held at Birnam Wood Golf Club.
Montecito, Calif., Nov. 14, 2016 – The Birnam Wood Golf Club raised more than $250,000 for the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation at their second annual Veterans Day Golf Tournament held Friday.
The funds raised will support the UC Santa Barbara Veterans Resource Center, which helps veterans adjust to civilian life on campus. The Center also connects them to resources for financial support, mentorships, special programs, a resource center, education counseling, housing and health services.
“We wanted to help local veterans and their families. We wanted to be impactful. We wanted it to be education-centric,” said Gregg Foster, a member of the golf tournament committee. “This cause has broad support in the club.”
Jamie Kellner, also a member of the golf tournament committee, said Santa Barbara’s high cost of living creates a lot of pressure for the student veterans to finish in four years. He said their G.I. bill benefits are based on the cost of living in Port Hueneme, but they come to Santa Barbara where rent is much higher.
“They’re stressed,” Kellner said. “This support gets a lot of them over the finish line.”
The UCSB Veteran Resource Center serves more than 100 student veterans. Kevin Hagedorn, Director of Veteran and Military Services at UCSB, said that last year, 17 students received grants because of the support from the first Birnam Wood Golf Club Veterans Day Tournament.
“That number will continue to grow as much as the need and funding allows,” said Hagedorn. “The students are so grateful for the support from Birnam Wood Golf Club and the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.”
According to Foster, Birnam Wood Golf Club plans to continue the Veterans Day Golf Tournament for the years to come. “This is a lifetime commitment,” he said.
Foster said that because the cost of the event is underwritten by sponsors, 100 percent of the proceeds raised from the tournament goes to supporting veterans.
Other members of the original golf tournament committee include Lee Asseo, Joe Hardin Jr., Nancy Hunter, Michael Maloco, Wayne Siemens, and Peter Ziegler.
About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation
Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in U.S. military efforts. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssen’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.” PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit www.pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394.