Program highlights veterans with service-related physical challenges who find inspiration on the golf course, with an introduction from Lee Trevino
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (July 23, 2020) — Military veterans with physical challenges, and PGA Professionals passionate about developing golf programming for our nation’s heroes will be featured in a nationwide, one-hour special on CBS Television network, “PGA HOPE: Helping Our Patriots Everywhere,” airing on Saturday, July 25, at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
The program will be hosted by CBS Sports’ James Brown, and includes a guest appearance and introduction from six-time major champion and United States Marine Corps Veteran Lee Trevino.
PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The national program introduces golf to military veterans with service-related disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Each year, PGA HOPE helps thousands of veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game provides.
“Golf has become a therapeutic part of the rehabilitation process for many veterans, and it’s fantastic that we have an opportunity to showcase these remarkable and inspirational stories to a national audience through our partnership with CBS Sports,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley.
Headlining the segments are veterans who participated at the 2019 PGA HOPE National Golf & Wellness Week at Congressional Country Club and are now serving as PGA HOPE Ambassadors in their respective PGA Sections. They include: Josh Swindle (PGA HOPE Ambassador for the Carolinas PGA Section); Janus “Jae Pea” Persaud (Metropolitan PGA Section); Mary Anderson-Kokell (South Florida PGA Section); Randy Shack (Northern Texas PGA Section); and William Stockholm (Northern California PGA Section).
In addition, Judy Alvarez, PGA/LPGA, South Florida PGA Section Member, PGA HOPE National Trainer and 2019 Patriot Award recipient, is showcased. She conducts training seminars for PGA Members on teaching the game to military Veterans. The simulated training sessions are designed to ensure that all PGA HOPE sessions offer a safe environment for Veterans living with physical or cognitive challenges. This includes making sure they are comfortable using adaptive equipment, especially for Veterans who have endured Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), amputation, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and more.
The special highlights the North Florida PGA Section, which found a fitting way to honor the memory of the 2018 Patriot Award recipient Ken Juhn, PGA. The Section has renamed its veterans program the Ken Juhn Tampa Bay PGA HOPE Chapter. Juhn, a PGA Member for 34 years, passed away on July 20, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Also featured is 2017 Patriot Award recipient Kevin McKinley, PGA of the Michigan PGA Section. Since the inception of the Folds of Honor Foundation, McKinley has been instrumental in fundraising efforts at Treetops Resort for Patriot Golf Day, which will be celebrated once again over Labor Day Weekend.
Swindle, a U.S. Army Veteran who spent years coping with a life-changing injury, started with PGA HOPE in 2016. He earned a spot on the 2017 PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup team in North Carolina and is now a PGA HOPE Ambassador, helping other Veterans find passion and purpose for the game.
Persaud, a PGA HOPE Ambassador, served as a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant. He began with PGA HOPE in 2016, and has been involved in his Section’s PGA HOPE Programming. He also competed on the Metropolitan PGA Section’s 2018 PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup Team.
Anderson-Kokell will share her inspiring story of helping the PGA HOPE program grow in South Florida through Veteran recruitment at both The Honda Classic and a local VA Hospital. She also played a key role in growing female Veteran participation. Anderson-Kokell received several honors as a U.S. Army Specialist, including the National Service Award, Outstanding Trainee Award and Good Conduct Medal.
Shack, who served as an U.S. Army Corporal, was named as a PGA HOPE Ambassador for the Northern Texas PGA Section last year. He is featured for his inspiring story of using PGA HOPE for rehabilitation. Shack was honored with the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Campaign Star AR, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
PGA HOPE Ambassador Stockholm is a mentor to other Veterans, using PGA HOPE Play Days to foster camaraderie among them. As a U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, Stockholm received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 3-Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 2-Stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.