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Community-wide campaign raised nearly $140,000; 20 local military-and-veteran-serving organizations to receive grant awards
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida – THE PLAYERS Championship announced today recipients for its #Match4Military grant, which was launched as part of the championship’s 2021 military appreciation activities. The campaign encouraged the community to partner with THE PLAYERS to support Northeast Florida nonprofit organizations that serve military members, veterans and their families. Through the generosity of the entire community, amplification from media partners as well as matching dollars from THE PLAYERS, the campaign generated nearly $140,000.
Earlier today, representatives of THE PLAYERS Red Coats (a committee of past volunteer chairpersons) presented K9s For Warriors, one of the 20 local nonprofits who received a #Match4Military grant, with a $15,000 check at the organization’s groundbreaking ceremony for its “Campus for K9 Operations,” which will become the nation’s largest shelter-to-Service-Dog facility.
“It was incredible to see the entire community come together to support and honor our service members, veterans and their families through this #Match4Military campaign,” said Jared Rice, Executive Director of THE PLAYERS. “Since THE PLAYERS made its permanent home in Northeast Florida in 1977, our team and organization have made it a key priority to integrate military appreciation initiatives and activities into the fabric of this championship, and it was so inspiring to join forces this year to support our military heroes in this unique way.”
“We are incredibly grateful to THE PLAYERS Championship for selecting K9s For Warriors as a #Match4Military grant recipient,” said Rory Diamond, CEO of K9s For Warriors. “This generous gift will help support our new Campus for K9 Operations here in Ponte Vedra and also will allow us to impact the lives of veterans from all eras by pairing them with a Service Dog.”
Following the conclusion of the #Match4Military campaign, THE PLAYERS extended an invitation to military-and-veteran-serving organizations in Northeast Florida (Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties) to request funding for their programs and services. The #Match4Military grants will be used to fund programming, capacity building, capital projects and/or general operating support at each of the following benefitting organizations:
• American Red Cross of Northeast Florida
• Blue Star Families -Jacksonville
• City of Jacksonville - Military Affairs and Veterans Department
• Five STAR Veterans, Inc.
• Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center
• Jacksonville University
• Jacksonville Veterans Chamber of Commerce
• Joseph Finegan Elementary School (soon to be Anchor Academy)
• K9s For Warriors
• Museum of Science and History
• Northeast Florida Women Veterans
• Operation New Uniform
• Patriot Services Group, Inc.
• Supporters of the Jacksonville National Cemetery
• The Fire Watch Project, Inc.
• United Services Operation (USO)
• Veteran Garden Project of St. Augustine
• Veterans Council of St. Johns County
• Wounded Warrior Project
• Yoga 4 Change
“We are honored to be receiving this grant, which will play a crucial role in supporting our fight to end veteran suicide in Northeast Florida,” said Nick Howland, Executive Director of The Fire Watch, Northeast Florida’s fight to end veteran suicide. “During THE PLAYERS Championship, thanks to the platform that the #Match4Military campaign gave us, The Fire Watch saw its largest surge in community members who signed up to become Watch Standers...the TPC effect! For the first nine months, the Watch Stander program averaged 48 new participants per month. Now, we are averaging over 100 per month, including the largest surge during THE PLAYERS. The more members of our community trained to identify the warning signs of veterans in crisis and to direct them to the help they need, the more we will prevent veteran suicide in our community.”
For more information about THE PLAYERS Championship’s charitable mission, please visit THEPLAYERS.com/charity.
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