Bob Woodruff Foundation’s Veterans Golf Classic To Raise Funds For Military Children’s Mental Health Services

The Bob Woodruff Foundation will hold its third annual Veterans Classic at the Westhampton Country Club on Monday, May 20, beginning at 10:30 AM. The day will include a golf tournament, brunch, dinner, cocktails, a pickleball clinic, and an awards ceremony. 

The foundation was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s work in mental health for the military and veteran community and their families. This year’s Veterans Classic will focus on raising funds for military children’s mental health services. We spoke to Woodruff to learn more about this year’s event.

Bob Woodruff, Anne Marie Dougherty. Photo by Rob Rich / SocietyAllure

Tell us about this year’s Bob Woodruff Foundation Veterans Golf Classic.

This is our third annual Bob Woodruff Foundation Veterans Golf Classic. Our Golf Classics coincide with Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll honor those who have served while raising funds to support our mission. 

The Veterans Classic includes brunch, dinner, cocktails, a pickleball clinic, and an awards ceremony. The Patriot Parachute Team will jump in at 11:30 AM, kicking off the day’s events. At our 2023 Veterans Golf Classic, we raffled off two jumps with the Parachute Team in 2023. I can’t wait to see our 2023 raffle winners jump this year to honor those who have served and their families. 

This year, the Bob Woodruff Foundation Veterans Golf Classic focuses on supporting military children’s mental health. Could you elaborate on the impact of this support?

While our military children are resilient, they also face unique challenges that can impact their mental health: frequent moves, deployments, and the prospect or actuality of losing a parent. Not only do children in the military and veteran families face service-related stressors that compound mental health challenges, they’re also more likely than their civilian peers to experience financial or housing instability and food shortages, and to have parents or caregivers who are frontline workers. These risk factors can also contribute to poor mental health. Recognizing this, in 2022, the Foundation pledged to invest $1 million in military children’s mental health, a goal that we exceeded. 

In 2023, we invested over $1 million in programming addressing military and veteran children’s mental health and well-being. The Foundation worked with eight organizations to ensure that our investments complemented the services available through insurance providers and increased the availability of clinicians trained to work with children. We also invested in three additional programs that focused on military children’s overall mental well-being by fostering relationships with mentors and by increasing access to extracurricular activities.

Overall, our funding supported over 1,200 military-connected children across the country through 2023. Grantees and goals to date have included: Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center (MFC) at NYU Langone Health, Welcome Back: Supporting Our Veterans and Military Families Returning to School and Civilian Life, The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Child and Family Service, The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center at NYU Langone Health’s Child and Family Program, The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Red Rock Military Services, The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Valley Cities, Tuesday’s Children, Our Military Kids, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, Operation Bigs.

What are some of your goals for this year’s golf classic?

An underlying goal of anything we do at the Foundation is to raise awareness about the tough challenges veterans and military families face and fund solutions to support them in the next chapter of their lives. While that’s our primary goal for our Veterans Golf Classic, we’re also coming together to raise funds so that we can continue to invest nationwide in programs and services for veterans, service members, and their families. We’re also gathering to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to raising awareness about the issues veterans, service members, and their families face, to honoring their service and sacrifices, and to​being with individuals – veterans, donors, supporters, family members, colleagues – who understand the importance of supporting our veterans and service members, and their families. Of course, I’m really looking forward to being part of the winning foursome! 

To register, visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org/event/veterans-golf-classic.

Jessica Mackin-Cipro

Co-Publisher/Editor

Jessica Mackin-Cipro is an editor and writer from the East End of Long Island. She has won numerous NYPA and PCLI awards for journalism and social media. She was previously the Executive Editor of The Independent Newspaper.

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