As last year’s Swing “Fore” Hope golf tournament approached, Carl Pezoldt took a couple of months to brush up on his game.
“I prepared primarily by hitting a couple of buckets at a course near my home,” said Pezoldt, who vaguely recalls placing fourth that rainy afternoon at the annual charity golfing event.
Pezoldt, who has no family or close friends affected by post-traumatic stress disorder or wartime injury, found that the event that supported this worthy cause was quite enjoyable, filled with a day of pitching, putting, raffles and games and a night of cocktails and entertainment.
“[I remember] getting together right after for dinner and fellowship,” he said. “It was just great to sit and reminisce about the play and the rest of the day.”
Now, Pezoldt has planned to take to the green again Friday at the Melreese Golf and Country Club for the second annual Swing “Fore” Hope golf tournament.
All proceeds will be specifically allocated to the nonprofit Good Hope Equestrian Training Center’s Horses Helping Heroes program.
Since October 2010, GHETC, along with the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, has been serving approximately 244 inpatient and outpatient veterans through Horses Helping Heroes, an initiative dedicated to the rehabilitation of veterans. It provides equine assisted activities to veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, amputations, post-traumatic stress disorder and spinal cord injuries.
“Our research has shown that [these] activities benefit disabled participants through increased mobility, improved balance, posture and core strength, as well as enhanced coordination and flexibility,” said Brooke E. Westmoreland, occupational therapist with the Veteran’s Affairs Spinal Cord Injury unit.
The rehabilitative programming takes place at Good Hope’s 20-acre facility, located in Southwest Dade, where participants are welcomed to 14 program horses, 10 open paddocks, two riding arenas, a sensory horse trail, an outdoor picnic area, fully-accessible restrooms and a clubhouse.
Last year, Peggy Bass, Good Hope’s executive director, said the tournament was held at the Keys Golf and Country Club, where about 68 golfers and more than 120 people, including volunteers, board members and family and friends showed up.
“This year, it will be more centrally located,” she said, referring to the Melreese Golf and Country Club, near Miami International Airport.
Registration will begin promptly at 11 a.m. The cost per golfer will be $175, which includes greens fees, cart, golfer’s goodie bag and dinner. The shotgun start will follow at noon. An awards dinner will follow at 5:30 p.m..