For the third consecutive year, the members of Meadowlands CC in Blue Bell, Pa. are opening the doors of their private club to returning veterans from the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Known as Armed Forces Appreciation Day, this event is run in cooperation with the nearby Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.
With members and volunteers from the staff providing all services—from unloading bags, greeting and directing the guests, and serving as forecaddies, to flipping hamburgers and dishing out ice cream—the event has become a source of enormous pride and gratification for the club.
“There is no greater sacrifice, nor nobler duty than to serve your country,” stresses Meadowlands CC President Gilbert Benjamin. “We feel this is the least we can do to say thanks to our men and women in uniform.”
Businesses from around the community also join with Meadowlands for this day of gratitude, contributing prizes and gifts for the day. Aside from golf, families of the military are invited to enjoy the Meadowlands pool and tennis facilities, as well as joining the servicemen and women for lunch after golf.
“It’s a long day for us, but it is a genuine labor of love,” says Tricia Blackman, chairperson for the event. “We will have about 90 members out here, volunteering their time for the day, and they all tell me this is their favorite day of activity at the club all year.”
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