NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Major Dan Rooney and Folds of Honor will be recognized today (Thursday) during the “Family Affair” event (5-8 p.m. ET) at Barefoot Resort & Golf driving range, kicking off the 17th annual Father & Son Team Classic presented by PGA TOUR Superstore. The three-day family event, held July 24-26, at eight area golf courses throughout North Myrtle Beach, S.C., is thought to be the largest father-son golf event in the world.
Major Rooney will receive “Father of the Year” honors as selected by the Executive Tournament Committee of the Classic. Rooney, a PGA Professional, USGA Member and father of five daughters, created Folds of Honor to help military families of fallen and wounded service men and women by providing them with educational scholarships and assistance; more than 5,500 educational scholarships have been awarded since 2007. He is receiving the honor based on his strong and passionate commitment to family, community and the game of golf. His wife Jacqy and daughters Victoria, Tatum, Mia, Reese and Devyn will be at the event.
“There is no higher honor than being a father, and I’m humbled to accept this award from the National Father & Son Team Classic,” Rooney said. “The Folds of Honor has strong ties to the game of golf, and we’re proud to partner with such a prestigious, family-oriented tournament to honor and award three local military families with educational scholarships."
Robert Harper, PGA Professional and founder and tournament director of the National Father & Son Team Classic will present the award to Major Rooney.
“Major Rooney is the true essence of American pride,” Harper said. “It’s difficult to articulate how appreciative I am, as well as other civilians throughout this country, for his contributions to our nation and to the families of our fallen and disabled heroes through the Folds of Honor Foundation. As a fellow PGA Professional, I am so proud to be part of an organization that Dan Rooney is associated with and represents. He sets the standard for how to serve others, and it is our honor to have him as this year’s Father of the Year.”
Three local military families are also attending the event as Major Rooney will present each of them a Folds of Honor scholarship:
• Ryan Boyd, a junior at College of Charleston studying Business Management. Ryan’s father, Army Specialist Robert Tasso, served in Vietnam.
• Laura Den Bleyker attends Everest University pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. Her husband, Marine Corporal Joseph Den Bleyker, served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange, which still affects his life today.
• Alexis McCann is a future-use scholarship recipient. Her stepfather, Army Staff Sergeant Andrew Montgomery, stepped on a dismounted IUD while on patrol in Afghanistan. He recently graduated from the Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach and aspires to obtain his PGA Professional status to help other wounded and disabled veterans learn the game of golf as a form of therapy.
Major Rooney joins a prestigious group of previous “Father of the Year” honorees including, Col. Charles M. “Charlie” Thrash, Director of the Professional Golf Management Program at Coastal Carolina University; Colonel George Hilliard who retired from the Air Force in 1988; Clay Brittain, Jr., 40-year veteran of the golf industry; Joe Louis Barrow, Jr, CEO of The First Tee; Joe Black and Gary Schaal, former Presidents of PGA of America, Lou Holtz, former Head College Football Coach and ESPN analyst; Jim Hodges, former South Carolina Governor; Happ Lathrop, Executive Director of the South Carolina Golf Association; Dal Shealy, President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Cecil Brandon, “Father of Myrtle Beach Golf”; Bobby Richardson, 1960 World Series Most Valuable Player; and Mickey McCamish, former Executive Director of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.