LANCASTER – It’s been two years since the idea was born to build a 9-hole putting green on the grounds of the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home in Lancaster.
A group of local businessmen Friday announced plans to complete the fundraising for that project with a golf tournament this summer.
Led by Lou Gonzales of Antelope Valley Chevrolet and Frank Belt of Kidz Golf, Inc., the group announced the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home Inaugural Golf Tournament, scheduled for Monday, July 14, at the Antelope Valley Country Club.
Belt, a Navy veteran who served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, has already raised more than $22,000 toward the goal of $45,000.
The 88-year-old raised the money himself by placing donation cans at various businesses in Palmdale, Lancaster and Rosamond.
“We are within sight of our goal,” Belt stated. “We hope to raise the balance of the money for the putting green at this golf tournament and begin construction the next day, completing the project before the end of this year.”
Gonzales, one of the leading sponsors of the tournament and a U.S. Army veteran, said, “This is the least we can do for these veterans who have given so much for us. This is a great project and I am glad to help Frank accomplish it. Let’s bring the community together behind this.”
Norman J. Andrews, Administrator of the Veterans Home, said activities are very therapeutic for veterans. “The putting green will give us the opportunity to create many activities, including competitions and mini golf that will serve all our veterans. Some of our residents may not be able to swing a golf club, but they can all putt.”
How to take part in the inaugural golf tournament fundraiser
Registration for the July 14 tournament begins at 8 a.m. that day with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. The cost per player is $150, and it includes green fees, a raffle ticket, two mulligans, a putting contest and breakfast, lunch and dinner for each golfer. In addition, there is an opportunity to participate in the “Active Military Player Sponsorship”, allowing a veteran or wounded warrior to join a foursome and share in the day of golf and camaraderie.
To register a foursome, contact Nicole at Antelope Valley Chevrolet at 661-952-2300, ext. 318.
If funds are raised beyond the construction needs of the putting green, the excess will be donated to the activities fund at the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home.
“Surprisingly,” said Andrews, “the state does not provide any funds for activities. All of our activities are funded by donations.”
Help sponsor the 9-hole putting green
Sponsors already committed to the project include Lockheed Martin, the Pacific Palisades Post of the American Legion, Senator Steve Knight, Sierra Toyota and about a dozen more local businesses and individuals.
More sponsors are being sought at levels from $500 to $5,000. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, call Nicole at Antelope Valley Chevrolet at 661-952-2300, ext. 318.