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Golfers help raise funds for Veterans Memorial Garden

Friends and supporters of the Branson Veterans Memorial Garden gathered on Thursday, May 23, for the Second Annual Golf Classic fundraising tournament. Again this year, the tournament was hosted by Pointe Royale Golf Village and included a beautiful opening ceremony, a tribute to the approaching Memorial Day weekend and a pause to reflect on the freedoms Americans enjoy due to the sacrifices made by soldiers of every service branch.

 



Point Royale Manager Chris Larson welcomed those present and introduced Brigadier General James Schreffler, a member of the military science faculty at the College of the Ozarks, who served as master of ceremonies. The colors were presented by the Branson High School Air Force JROTC, under direction of USAF Master Sergeant David Orchard; and the National Anthem was sung by Veterans Memorial Garden Administrator Jana Evans, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

In his remarks, General Schreffler reminded participants of the reasons for Memorial Day festivities and pointed out that each of the 18 holes on the course was named in honor of a National Cemetery. He then presided over the traditional Laying of Wreaths ceremony, with wreaths presented by several local organizations who serve the veterans of the community:

·       USN ATR Shelby Pinkerton, representing the Veterans & Military Coalition of the Ozarks;

·       U.S. Army Sgt. David Orchard, representing Branson Veterans of America 913;

·       U.S. Army Veteran Lionel Cantu, representing Veterans of the Ozarks;

·       Becky Jewsbury, representing the Veterans Task Force.

 

Following the wreath-laying ceremony, Taps was played by SGM Bob Smithers, U.S. Army (Ret.). Larson then concluded the ceremony with prayer, asking God’s blessing on area veterans and on the day’s events before teams headed out. Each golf cart was decorated with American flags, and most golfers were dressed in patriotic colors, several teams having chosen matching shirts or outfits.

 

Following the tournament, participants enjoyed lunch catered by Pointe Royale, along with the opportunity to bid on wonderful silent auction items thanks to generous area sponsors. At the luncheon, awards were presented to the winning teams:

·       First place men’s team: Todd Walker, Darryl Harbaugh, Robert Burr and Roy Berber;

·       First place women’s team: Dot Mallon, Cinda Hahn, Shari Waters and Melody Hoffman;

·       First place mixed team: Bill and Linda Wallace, Paul and Daleen Bauer.

 

The Veterans Memorial Garden, located at the intersection of 76 Country Blvd. and Roark Valley Road, is a popular stop for visitors to the area, especially during Veterans Homecoming Week, but it is also a wonderful place to pause any time and stroll along the paths, enjoy the beauty of flowers for each season, or reflect beside the Memorial Wall or the commemorative statues.

 

Administrator Jana Evans wishes to thank all the tournament sponsors, as well as all the volunteers who help with design, upkeep and maintenance of the Garden. New volunteers are currently much-needed; visit the website, https://veteransmemorialgarden.com and scroll to the “volunteer” button to see how you can get involved. Although the Garden is a great volunteer opportunity for those who enjoy gardening, you don’t have to be an experienced gardener to help make a difference.

 

While at the website, be sure to browse the gorgeous photos of recent projects. You can also find information about making a tax-deductible donation, as the Garden is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, or placing a plaque on the Honor Wall in honor of a family member or other loved one. For additional information, email BransonVeteransMemorialGarden@gmail.com.

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