This Veterans Day, members of the Pelican’s Nest Golf Club at Pelican Landing in Bonita Springs hosted their 4th annual golf tournament benefiting Home Base Southwest Florida. The event raised a staggering $160,000 this year through golf registration fees, sponsorships, a raffle, silent auction and generous donations. Since 2016, this event at Pelican’s Nest has raised over $455,000 towards the care and support of local SWFL Veterans and Military Families dealing with the invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
232 golfers hit the links on a beautiful Monday afternoon to celebrate Veterans Day. The opening ceremony featured Pelican’s Nest committee member and leader, Pat Phelan, Home Base Assistant Director of Development, Jason Cooper, and Home Base Veteran Matt Loebs.
Loebs, U.S. Army Veteran from the area, reached out to Home Base Program Director, fellow Veteran Armando Hernandez for help a few years ago. Armando assisted Loebs in enrolling in the Warrior Health & Fitness Program. “Thank you so much for supporting us. I want to let you know that your generosity and support is a direct reflection of my success over this past year. I lost 50 pounds this year!” Loebs said, as he twirled for the crowd.
While participating in the Warrior Health and Fitness Program in Southwest Florida, Loebs learned of Home Base’s two-week Intensive Clinical Program (ICP) offered in Boston. Thanks to the funds raised at Pelican’s Nest’s annual golf outing and other third-party golf fundraisers, Home Base was able to fly Loebs and a family member to Boston, at no cost, to receive over a year’s worth of evidence-based therapy and treatment in those two weeks. “If it wasn’t for me going through that process, I wouldn’t be here today. I was in a very dark place before I went there” Loebs stated.
Loebs ended his remarks by emphasizing, “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you because I see what you help other veterans with, as well. It’s because of the support and generosity, like this golf tournament, that we can get the help here in Southwest Florida.”
Other honorable guests included 4-star U.S. Army General (ret) Fred Franks, U.S. Army Brigadier General (ret) Ed Dyer, Home Base COO Michael Allard, Home Base Southwest Florida’s program Director, Armando Hernandez, Florida State Senator Kathleen Passidomo, Bagpiper Ken Hough and U.S. Air Force Col. (ret) Vince Fazio.
Pat Phelan, a member of Pelican’s Nest Golf Club who has been instrumental in organizing and growing the Pelican’s Nest Golf Tournament, is proud to be part of an event that supports those who have served. “My number one reason for being involved is to help these young people who gave so much become healthy, happy family members,” she said. “What affects one member of a family affects everyone.”
With the support of her committee of dedicated volunteers, local sponsors and club members, Phelan has grown this tournament significantly over the years. Many Pelican’s Nest members have military connections and remain committed to giving back to their local military community. Home Base Southwest Florida is honored to have such dedicated, generous, patriotic supporters like the Pelican’s Nest community.