Eighth Home Presentation at the Colorado PGA REACH Invitational
The Colorado PGA REACH Foundation held its annual Colorado PGA REACH Invitational Golf Tournament on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at The Golf Club at Bear Dance. Known for being the largest fundraiser of the year, this event was another huge success raising over $90,000 to support its many programs!
One of the special moments of the day was the presentation of keys to a mortgage-free home to combat wounded Veteran and deserving recipient former U.S. Army Sergeant William ‘Jaye’ VanBoening. “I have never in my life been around so many people who cared about a single purpose. That really touches me. It makes me want to do the same thing for other people,” comments VanBoening. “It was amazing. The people! The people are what made it special.”
VanBoening joined the Active-duty U.S. Army in November 2006 and was stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado, from 2007-2010, with the 360th Transportation Company. During this time, he deployed for 15 months to Iraq. Following his tour, he was then stationed at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, with the 101st Airborne Division from 2010-2014 where he deployed twice more to Afghanistan. VanBoening was honorably discharged in January 2014.
“I was in a really bad stretch after my last deployment. We lost a lot of people… Finally, I listened to other people and found help at the Combat Veteran Center,” shared VanBoening. For four days a week for two consecutive years, his focus was working hard through therapies and counseling sessions. He wants to encourage others needing help to ask for it. “Get help. There are organizations out there willing to help.”
One of the therapies VanBoening utilized is known as Dark Room Therapy. This is a passion of his and he is making his own dark room in the new home he received in late April. Also, he plans to open a gallery space where others can work in the studio and host a show. “My goal is to give back 22% of every piece of artwork sold, every workshop fee, every event cost, to organizations across the country [like Military Warriors Support Foundation] who help save Veteran lives and make their lives more accessible and more stress-free,” stated VanBoening. The percentage is in honor of the 22 Veterans per day who commit suicide.
During the home presentation, Eddie Ainsworth, CEO and Executive Director of the Colorado PGA, said of VanBoening, “He served from 2006-2014 and he is still serving today.”
Ainsworth also expressed many thanks to supporters of the day and months leading up to the event: Ken Eakes, Executive Director of Military Warriors Support Foundation; Mark Lapides, Wells Fargo Regional Banking District Manager from Colorado South; Brandon Dastrup, Wells Fargo District Manager for the Pikes Peak Market; Stuart Bruening, PGA General Manager at The Golf Club at Bear Dance and Dan Bennett, both from Southwest Greens; Joe Assell, PGA and GOLFTEC (Ty Walker, PGA Denver Tech Center); the Colorado PGA REACH Trustees and Colorado PGA Officers.
VanBoening was fitted for clubs at GOLFTEC upon his arrival to Colorado and then participated in the Colorado PGA REACH Invitational. He was escorted into the Invitational with bagpipes followed by the trumpeter playing the National Anthem.
When asked what it was like to walk into the home he received, he said “It was unbelievable! It took my breath away. My daughter and I had been bouncing around a lot because of the things I was dealing with – to finally have that stability is a game-changer.” This new home allows for VanBoening to focus on his mental health and build a strong foundation. He finally feels he and his family are in a space where they can be stable. VanBoening lives with his daughter and service dog, Maggie, outside of St. Louis, Missouri.
VanBoening expressed gratitude to all who helped make the day and home possible for him. “I can’t thank them enough. Keep it up! Everybody was so nice. It makes me want to be a role model, especially to my daughter, because that’s what everybody was here for me today.”
Personal and financial mentorship will be provided by Military Warriors Support Foundation to VanBoening for the next three years to assure he is given the necessary tools to be successful with this newly attained investment. Eakes commented, “The Military Warriors Support Foundation was honored to partner with the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation to sponsor another combat wounded hero home at their annual golf fundraiser.”
The continued success of this home presentation is attributed to the many organizations that work together toward the common goal of facilitating a smooth and successful transition of our nation’s combat wounded heroes. The Military Warriors Support Foundation evaluates and selects deserving combat wounded heroes to receive mortgage-free homes. Wells Fargo contributes and remodels homes that it then donates to the program and the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation, through its Supporting Our Military Pillar, provides the avenue to donate the home. Southwest Greens, through the profits of its Mile-High Golf Trail Program featuring The Golf Club at Bear Dance, Colorado National Golf Club, Plum Creek Golf Course and Riverdale Golf Course, provides the funding for the home.
Funds raised from the Colorado PGA REACH Invitational will support the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation and it’s three pillars – Supporting Our Military, Youth Development, and Inclusion. In addition to the above organizations, the Colorado PGA extends thanks to the trustees, corporate sponsors and friends who supported the event.