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Community invited to help raise at least $250,000 to be matched by THE PLAYERS in
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – Demonstrating its commitment to annually celebrating our area’s military, THE PLAYERS Championship announced today that it will kick off the 2021 tournament with a day-long, community-wide campaign to drive awareness and support for military organizations in Northeast Florida. Statistics have revealed that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of military members and their families, with record suicide rates resulting from the isolation and challenges of the pandemic. THE PLAYERS is seeking to encourage the entire community to join forces and serve as champions for the military. The tournament’s campaign, #Match4Military, will go live on Tuesday, March 9, and THE PLAYERS has committed to match, dollar for dollar, all donations up to $250,000.
“We created #Match4Military to continue our longstanding commitment to supporting and honoring our community’s service members, veterans and their families,” said Jared Rice, Executive Director of THE PLAYERS. “Even though on-site military appreciation activities will look different this year, we wanted to demonstrate our continued support for our military heroes. With one in four area residents connected to the military, this entire community has a unique opportunity to contribute and share in the success of this initiative. Thanks to support from our Proud Partners and local media partners, and participation from our entire community, we look forward to raising a significant amount of funds for military organizations in Northeast Florida.”
#Match4Military will generate support and awareness for Northeast Florida military organizations like K9s for Warriors, The Fire Watch, Greater Jacksonville Area USO, Wounded Warrior Project, Operation New Uniform, and more.
The campaign will go live on Tuesday, March 9. Fans interested in donating can do so by visiting www.theplayers.com/match4military, powered by GoFundMe.
In addition, THE PLAYERS has chosen Northeast Florida-based nonprofit The Fire Watch as its Charity of the Day on Tuesday, March 9. The Fire Watch is Northeast Florida’s fight to end veteran suicide and recently launched a “Watch Stander” program that trains the general public to ‘stand watch’ and ‘save lives’ in response to the sharp rise in veteran suicide rates locally and across the country. In Northeast Florida, data averages reveal that there is one military member suicide per day.
Those interested in becoming a Watch Stander must participate in a 45-minute online training session that focuses on learning how to identify crisis signals, direct veterans to the resources and support they need and commit to protect those who have protected us. Since launching the Watch Stander program in May 2020, just over 300 people have signed up to serve as Watch Standers; however, The Fire Watch has announced a goal to mobilize at least 3,000 before the year’s end.
Additional military appreciation initiatives during THE PLAYERS 2021
In support of heightened military restrictions limiting large gatherings and adherence to comprehensive health and safety protocols, THE PLAYERS will not include a Military Appreciation ceremony, concert, or hospitality venue (Patriots Outpost) that traditionally hosts thousands of military members and their families. However, THE PLAYERS is collaborating with other community partners to demonstrate support in other ways via the following initiatives:
Military Job Fair presented by United Rentals – Saturday, March 6
THE PLAYERS, in partnership with the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition, will host its 10th annual Military Job Fair presented by United Rentals. New in 2021, the job fair will be located outdoors in The Grove, just steps away from THE PLAYERS Welcome Experience. Guests must park in the general parking lot off CR 210. The Military Job Fair is free and open to military personnel, veterans and military spouses. Twenty-five companies with existing job opportunities will be on-hand.
Flyover Tradition Continues – Tuesday, March 9
The annual tradition of a flyover on Military Appreciation Day will continue in 2021 on Tuesday, March 9, and will feature the 125th Fighter Wing/FLANG. Preceded by a fixed wing jet flyover at Mayport Base, the pilots will fly over THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass around noon, proceed to NAS Jax and conclude in downtown Jacksonville. The exact route and timing will be shared on THE PLAYERS social channels in the near future.
United Rentals to host military members and veterans in 17th hole hospitality suite - Thursday through Sunday
From Thursday, March 11 through Sunday, March 14, United Rentals, Official Equipment Rental Supplier of the PGA TOUR and presenting sponsor of Operation Shower at THE PLAYERS, will be hosting military members and veterans from the following Northeast Florida military organizations in its hospitality suite overlooking the 17th hole.
Thursday, March 11 - K9s for Warriors
Friday, March 12 – The Fire Watch
Saturday, March 13 – Operation New Uniform
Sunday, March 14 - Wounded Warrior Project
Dining Discounts for Military and Veterans
During the week of THE PLAYERS, several restaurants in Northeast Florida will be providing military members, veterans and/or their families with a dining discount. Valid identification is required in order to receive the discount. Select locations of participating restaurants will display THE PLAYERS Military Appreciation logo in their windows:
Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q
Cousins Maine Lobster
4 Rivers Smokehouse
PGA TOUR Fan Shop discounts at THE PLAYERS
On Tuesday, March 9, Active Duty, Reserve and Retired military members can receive a 20% discount in the PGA TOUR Fan Shop at THE PLAYERS (must have valid military I.D.).
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