It’s a rivalry that Dick Hatch hopes will play out more visibly next month – not on a military base or at a fitness boot camp, but rather at a very different setting entirely – the golf course at Kissimmee’s Remington Country Club.
“The branches throughout history had a little bit of competition on who is the best, and we are capitalizing on it,” Hatch said.
The idea: a golf tournament that also serves to help support an interesting cause, an attraction on U.S. 192 in Four Corners that chronicles and preserves military history for each generation to see and learn more about.
“We’re encouraging people to come out and support the museum — and get introduced to it,” Hatch said.
The Museum of Military History is now sponsoring its Veterans Challenge Charity Golf Tournament, which is the second annual tournament being held in support of the museum at 5210 U.S. 192.
The tournament will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Remington Country Club, 2995 Remington Boulevard in Kissimmee.
“For veterans, it is an opportunity to proudly represent the branch of the military that you served in by registering a team to win the 2012 Commander’s Cup,” noted Rob Gray, the museum’s director of marketing and development.
The museum’s first tournament was held last November.
“We had a very small one last year,” said Don Smith, chairman of the museum’s board of directors. “We had a very small turnout last year, and we didn’t get a lot of advance publicity on it, so we’re trying to do things a little bit different this year. We’re making it, hopefully, a challenge, and will get military teams out there.”
Hatch, who is coordinating the tournament for the museum, said the tournament is open to any golfer, regardless of military status. But the museum staff would also like to see veterans from different branches of the military set up teams as well – again, as part of a friendly competition amongst the different segments of the military.
“They don’t have to be in the military,” he said. “They can be active duty as well.”
The museum is requesting a registration donation of $300 per team, or $75 per player, and individual players will be assigned to an independent team that has no affiliation to any one branch of the military.
The top player from foursomes without affiliation will add points to their branch to compete for the overall Commander’s Cup Trophy.
The golf tournament registration fee includes cart, lunch, raffle prizes, a 50/50 drawing and 18 holes of golf.
The event is a fund-raiser that goes to support the mission of the museum, which is to preserve the heritage and tradition of America’s military history.
As Hatch noted, the museum is self-sustaining, so sponsors and members are also being sought.
“We’ve worked very hard the last few years to get it to where it is today, and we want a lot of opportunities to share this with the public,” Hatch said. “We do more than wait for people to walk in the door. We go out to schools and are very active in our local communities. We had our first tournament last year, a small one, and this year we’re reaching out to more people, and hopefully it will be a standard thing once a year.”
It will also be, he added, an educational event as well, for those not aware of the museum or its mission.
“We’re using the golf tournament to share information about what we do with our local businesses,” Hatch said. “This give us an opportunity to reach out to them.”
The registration deadline is Nov. 14.
“The registration fee is the same this year,” Smith said. “We’re trying to get hole sponsors, and a hole in one, and they can sign up at the museum’s web site or contact Dick or Rob Dent here at the museum.”
Call 407-507-3894 for more information, or register to play by logging on to MuseumofMilitaryHistory.com.
The museum opened earlier this year, offering an extensive and growing collection of items donated by area residents related to America’s past military conflicts — from the Civil War right up to current wars in the Middle East.
The Museum of Military History, Inc. is a nonprofit organization designed to educate, increase awareness, build knowledge and understanding of the American military experience through interactive, interpretive exhibits designed for visitors of all ages.
Originally housed in a much smaller office at the Osceola Square Mall, the museum’s collection of military memorabilia grew so rapidly that the organizers quickly ran out of space. The board of directors had to look for a larger building, and found it in their current location on U.S. 192, a tourist-friendly highway.
The museum now has a huge — and still growing — collection of historic artifacts from American’s past wars.
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