SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – On Saturday, October 7, Operation Renewed Hope Foundation and Goodwill Manasota are partnering to present the CPL Ben Kopp Celebrity Golf Classic, The event, which takes place at the Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch (8255 Legacy Blvd.), benefits Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program and Operation Renewed Hope Foundation.
Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp was a rifleman in the Army who was seriously wounded during a combat operation in southern Afghanistan in July of 2009; he later died of his wounds. He was on his third deployment in support of the war on terror – two previous deployments were to Iraq. His mother, Jill Stephenson, now travels the country advocating on behalf of active duty and veterans and veteran families’ support programs. She documented her son’s story in a book, "Heart of a Ranger."
Goodwill Manasota works to help area veterans reintegrate into their families, jobs and communities. Additionally, for three years now, the organization has been granted funds by the U.S. Department of Labor to support its Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, which provides services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that address the complex problems facing homeless veterans and their families.
The goal of Operation Renewed Hope Foundation is to end veteran homelessness. The organization has, since its founding in 2011, helped veterans to secure suitable homes, provide transportation assistance, and secure emergency medical and dental care as well as helped to establish employment referrals and coordinate free career and financial counseling. Learn more at operationrenewedhopefoundation.org.
“Corporal Kopp’s story is such an inspiration, particularly given his youth and his passion for serving our country,” said Goodwill Manasota director of the Veterans Services Program C.J. Bannister. “We at Goodwill are proud to partner with Operation Renewed Hope Foundation and honor his memory with this event, which will raise funds to help veterans who have fallen on hard times.”
Players can sign up individually and be grouped with other players or sign up as a complete foursome.
Each foursome will become five, as a celebrity will be added to each group. Celebrities scheduled to participate include ABC 7 chief meteorologist Bob Harrigan, retired major league baseball players Jose Cardenal, Kenny Frailing, Wayne Garrett, Mike "Spanky" LaValliere, Jose "Chico " Lind, "Sudden" Sam McDowell and Felix Millan, retired NFL players Don Nottingham and James Jones, retired PGA tour player Larry Ziegler, retired NHL Hall of Famer Jacques Lemaire, and active major league baseball umpire Joe West.
On-course registration begins at 8 a.m.; shotgun start is at 9:30 a.m. Format will be a five-player scramble with one celebrity playing in each group. At the completion of play, there will be an awards ceremony and buffet lunch.
Cost is $175/individual, $700/foursome; players can sign up individually and be grouped with other players or sign up as a complete foursome. Players receive a team photo, players appreciation package, food and refreshments during play, and the chance to win prizes. Registrations are due by September 24. Go to experiencegoodwill.org/events.
PHOTO ID: Charlie Haje, tournament director with Operation Renewed Hope, 'Gold Star Mom' Jill Stephenson, and C.J. Bannister, Goodwill Manasota’s director of the Veterans Services Program
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.