PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Players Championship kicks off this week at TPC Sawgrass, and News4Jax is teaming up with The Players this year for a daylong fundraising campaign called Match4Military.
Typically, people come out to the tournament’s Military Appreciation Day ceremony and concert on the 17th hole every year. But this year, both events are canceled, so Match4Military is providing a way for everyone to come together remotely and give back to those who have given so much to our country.
“Tuesday, March 9, we’re going to market with a community campaign in order to drive, hopefully, more than $500,000 in charitable benefit to military charities,” said Jared Rice, executive director of The Players.
The Players will match donations dollar for dollar up to $250,000, and the money raised will benefit several different military organizations in Northeast Florida, including Wounded Warrior Project and The Fire Watch.
“Our whole goal is to get to veterans and get them the help they need before they slip into crisis,” said Nick Howland, executive director of The Fire Watch. “The warning signs of veterans in crisis are similar to civilians in crisis and for suicidal ideation -- and that’s social isolation, disconnectedness, undiagnosed mental health illness, family issues, financial issues -- those are exasperated in veterans, and isolation in particular during the COVID-crisis has made things worse.”
Howland explained how donations contributed during The Players can help The Fire Watch.
“We offer online training to learn the warning signs free of charge -- it’s 30 minutes if you are a veteran, it’s 45 minutes if you are a civilian -- and those donations will go to support our online training and to grow our portal and to increase our community participation,” Howland said.