We are very excited to be working the the VA to support our veterans. Please read the information below and contact Bethany Purdue or Jeff Ellison to become involved. We will be looking for professionals from not only the Puget Sound region but also individuals to pair with VA therapists from Portland, Spokane, Walla Walla, Walla Walla, and Medford. We will have expense funding for those needing to travel.

THE OFFICE OF NATIONAL VETERANS SPORTS PROGRAMS & SPECIAL EVENTS
WASHINGTON D.C.

Dear PGA Professionals,

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events would like to introduce the Down Range Golf Program. This golf initiative is being piloted in Tacoma, WA on April 8, 2013 and has partnered with PGA to help carry out the program’s mission to provide ongoing golf instruction for Veterans at the clinic and in their respective home communities. This program is innovative and unique as the primary focus is on creating and sustaining local community partnerships and developing prescriptive plans to help support and foster long-term goals and outcomes for each individual Veteran.

Down Range’s target population focuses on Veterans from the Northwest with a range of abilities and diagnoses including but not limited to: spinal cord injuries, visual impairments/blindness, amputees, and those with certain chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, etc.) The goal is to provide the Veterans with skills, information, and a network of community-based support to encourage ongoing participation in the game of golf to promote increased physical activity and improved health.

The Down Range program is a three-pronged approach to developing the skills, resources, and support needed to play the game of golf.
1. Expose Veterans to the game of golf through a therapeutic clinic instructed by PGA and VA Rehabilitation Staff to learn the basic skills of the game such as putting, chipping, driving, course play and general rules of the game.
2. Veteran participants will receive individualized packets at the end of the clinic. Packets will include goals, community resources in each Veteran’s specific hometown, as well as a contact from the PGA and VA Rehabilitation staff who will serve as a support team to that individual.
3. With the support of the local PGA Professionals, VA Rehabilitation Staff will host ongoing Down Range clinics for each of their respective Medical Facilities in the Northwest regions of: Tacoma, WA, Spokane, WA, Walla Walla, WA, Anchorage, AK, Boise ID, Portland, OR, and White City, OR.

Our program is looking for PGA Golf Professionals who are willing to lend their talent, skills and time to our local military heroes. The Golf Professionals are asked to volunteer their time to a short educational session on Sunday, April 7, 2013 and a full day instructional clinic on April 8, 2013. Professionals are also encouraged to provide ongoing support to the Down Range Veteran participants who live in their local community by providing continued instruction, encouragement and resources as needed to provide a smooth transition from the clinic to everyday life for the Veterans.

We look forward to working with each and every one of you. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions.

Click here for registration information.

Best,
Bethany Purdue
Program Specialist, Down Range Golf Program
National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events
Bethany.purdue@va.gov
215-823-5800 ext 7161

Jeff Ellison, PGA
Executive Director
Pacific Northwest Section PGA
jellison@pgahq.com
360-456-6496