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Valley golf tournament raises funds for military families

LITCHFIELD PARK, ARIZ. — America’s military heroes are being remembered this weekend at the annual Patriot All-America Collegiate Golf Tournament at the Wigwam resort in Litchfield Park.

A parachute jump, an F-16 fly-by and a Blackhawk helicopter takeoff were all part of Friday morning’s opening ceremonies. One hundred collegiate golfers from all over the country will play in the tournament, which raises money for the Folds of Honor Foundation. The group awards college scholarships to the families of fallen or wounded soldiers.

Each golfer will carry the name and story of a soldier on his golf bag. ASU golfer Austin Quick has the name of Sergeant First Class Daniel Susker on his bag.

“His Humvee was bombed in Iraq during a mission,” said Quick. “The Folds of Honor Foundation gave his son a full-ride scholarship. I think he’s only 6- or 7-years-old right now, but he has a full-ride scholarship to any college he wants to go.”

Quick said playing in the Patriot tournament is special.

“You realize out here that there’s something bigger than yourself,” he said. “You’re playing for a fallen soldier. The Folds of Honor Foundation has raised $13 million for the fallen soldiers’ families and scholarships for their kids. The whole background of this event is really cool.”

Sen. John McCain and Wigwam Resort co-owner Jerry Colangelo are co-chairmen of the Patriot Tournament.