After attending college in 2009, Dick & Janice Zagorski’s youngest son opted to follow his dream to serve in the U.S. Army. “When he became a Green Beret two years later, we started to get involved in various warrior foundations,” recalls Dick, a member of the Geneva National (GN) Golf Club and year-round Geneva National resident.
GN’s Member Head Golf Professional Bryan Brotchie introduced the Zagorskis to his father, Craig, a retired Air Force Special Tactics Colonel and member of the Board of Directors for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF), which provides a college education for all children of special operations soldiers killed in action.
“We met the people and really embraced the values of the SOWF – including the fact that 94% of the monies raised go directly to the families of the fallen,” states Dick. After three years of appealing to friends for donations by mail, Dick and Janice received an interesting offer last year from fellow GN member, Kevin Maher, who proposed holding an impromptu golf fundraiser. Twenty-four golfers showed, and combined, this seemingly small group raised more than $17,000 for SOWF.
In the wake of such swinging success, the Zagorskis chose to open the golf fundraiser to the entire Geneva National membership this year. With the help of two other GN couples – Steve and Kim Schroeppel and Don and Suzie Miller – they organized golf, dinner and an auction at Geneva National that brought in more than $80,000 this month. And the donations keep coming.
“This is such a testimony to the Geneva National community,” states Dick, who says the generosity of the GN membership supported his mail campaign and continues to grow stronger each year. “More people than we could imagine offered to help, and we actually had to turn people away because we maxed out on golf at 86 and dinner at 130,” says Dick, who adds how grateful he is to GN owners Pamela and Garth Chambers. “As a result or their wonderful support, the entire staff was in on it,” comments Dick.
In addition to Brotchie, special guests included his wife, first female four-star general Ann Dunwoody, SOWF’s Director of Operations Will Markham, and four former marines who joined in as golfers. Jodi Butler-Karow, a member’s daughter, was the guest singer at the event.
Plans are in the works for next year, say the Zagorskis, but supporters don’t have to wait until then. At any time, you can donate to the cause online at specialops.org or by calling 877-337-7693.