WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Carolina Salutes Golf Tourney & Gala wrapped up Monday afternoon at Landfall Country Club, a day on the links helping to raise thousands of dollars for the USO and Folds of Honor.
"Not only did we have a gala last night in partnership with the USO, but we actually had golf," said Major Ed Pulido, a veteran of the US Army and amputee who participated in the tournament. "And I think the thing is, you know what, we can utilize golf to get our veterans to come out and play, to connect them to the outstanding members at this club, and you know what we're making a difference."
Organizers estimated that the event will hopefully raise more than $70,000.
"A good third of our field was veterans," said Nick Giachino, with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, who helped with many of the sponsorships. "We wanted to have a local flavor to it. We have a lot of Veterans in our club. This isn't about us, this is about - how can we support our military, with impact."
John Falkenbury is the President of USO North Carolina, and noted how special the efforts of all the organizations were to set up the tournament.
"It really focused on the needs of the active guard and reserve of this state. When a local organization supports a local non-profit, it doesn't get any better than that," he said. "It will allow us to do two to three critical resiliency programs, that are saving lives. It will allow us to continue operating the ten centers throughout the state. The impact is great."
Pulido, an amputee who survived an IED overseas in 2004, relishes the opportunity to continue to help raise money benefiting veterans programs and educational initiatives.
"It changed me forever...it was the best day of my life in the sense that you know what, I got a second chance in life to make a difference on behalf of those that serve that greatest nation in the world, the United States of America."