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USO to host annual Red, White & Blue Golf Classic in May

Sponsors, civilian and military golfers still needed

Golfers will converge on The Golf Club at Newcastle to raise funds that ultimately support the troops and their families. Courtesy photo

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This year's USO Northwest Red, White & Blue Golf Classic will take place May 21 across both courses of The Golf Club at Newcastle, located just south of Bellevue. The tournament is one of two fundraisers that the USO Northwest hosts annually. It contributes to the organization being able to help more than 500,000 families each year.

"Our goal is to raise (more than) $200,000," said Don Leingang, executive director of USO Northwest and retired commander, U.S. Navy. "We are well on the way to reaching that goal thus far, but of course we are still looking for sponsors and more company sponsored foursomes to come out and play."

Notable sponsors already on board include the Boeing Company, Greenberg Traurig, the Seattle Mariners and the family of late Gen. John Shalikashvili. There are also still marketing opportunities available to companies that want to pay $500 in greens fees in order to promote their business. Ideas include posters or a company representative on hand at an individual hole on the course.

"What really sets this tournament apart is that we play five-person teams, but the sponsoring companies are only allowed to bring four players. The fifth player is an active-duty Servicemember," Leingang explained. "It makes it into quite an experience for the corporate players who get a chance to learn what life is like on a Coast Guard ship or what an Airman experienced on a recent deployment."

Active-duty military members are still welcome to volunteer for a spot on a team and can nominate themselves by visiting www.usonw.org/golf. In the event of too many volunteers, names will be selected through a raffle.

In addition to supplementing the civilian teams, each branch of the military is also asked to place its four best players onto a team - the fifth player on those teams will be a celebrity guest, such as former Seattle Seahawks fullback Mack Strong, who has committed to play.

Opening ceremony festivities will include an 18-gun salute from the U.S. Marine Corps, a special performance of the national anthem and an aircraft flyover.

"This is just a great way for the community to honor the military in the Puget Sound," Leingang said.

Companies and individuals interested in sponsoring the tournament or making a one-time monetary or in-kind donation are encouraged to call the USO Northwest office at (206) 246-1908, extension 3 or visit www.usonw.org/golf.

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