UNC Finley Golf Course’s head professional Frank Maynard completed 126 holes in a 14-hour golf marathon on June 18 in support of the Folds of Honor initiative, raising more than $15,000 for the cause.
The funds will support three scholarships worth $5,000 for children of wounded or fallen veterans in K-12 grades or higher education and is a continuation of UNC Finley’s partnership with Folds of Honor.
Started by veteran and PGA professional Dan Rooney in 2007, Folds of Honor gives millions of dollars in financial aid to military families across the country every year. Golf marathons raise money through pledges based on how many holes the player completes and are an important fixture in Folds of Honor’s fundraising mission.
“I think one of the most interesting things about a Folds of Honor golf marathon is it allows members of the community to thank the military through the efforts of the marathoner,” Sara Bush, the southeast regional director for Folds of Honor, said.
The marathon’s initial goal was $10,000, but Bush and Maynard agreed to raise it to $15,000 after overwhelming support.
“We’re over fifteen and we’re going to continue to go," he said. "It’s just mind boggling to think that we’ve got that much support."
North Carolina students were awarded 456 scholarships through Folds of Honor last year — the second-most nationwide — totaling $2.2 million. However, many applicants could not be supported, and efforts like Maynard’s help bridge the gap.
“We raise these funds for these scholarships for these young people and I think it's just wonderful,” Maynard said. “In my 21 years at Finley, we’ve continued to do things well and do more with youth golf and these scholarships is just another example of that.”
For veteran Wesley Bauguess, the varsity Golf Coach of North Raleigh Christian Academy, Folds of Honor has been a huge support for her family. After the death of Bauguess’ husband in Pakistan, both of her daughters could pay for high school and college through the scholarships.
“Folds of Honor has been so much more than just a scholarship organization for us,” Bauguess said. “They genuinely care about the families and develop a relationship with the scholarship recipients.”
“It can make a difference between if a student goes to a community college or state school, or to state school or private university, or it can help cushion that gap between in-state and out-of-state tuition,” Bauguess said. “It's significant, and it helps a lot.”
Bauguess now travels across the country to tell her family’s story and promote the goals and services of Folds of Honor.
“It’s more like a family than a scholarship organization,” she says.
Maynard completed 126 holes despite having an initial goal of 99 and was supported throughout the round by friends and other players alike. With the first tee at 5:30 a.m., Maynard had finished seven 18-hole rounds in 14 hours, shooting fifteen under par.
“It was fun to be out there with the folks playing and they let us play through,” he said. “We got a lot of support, which is great.”
Though Folds of Honor still has more fundraising to do to support the families of fallen and disabled veterans, efforts like Maynard’s help continue their mission.
“It’s a big feat to play over 100 holes in a given day, but it pales in comparison to what service members do on a daily basis,” Bush said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to watch it happen and I think it’s equally as rewarding for Frank to see the power of his voice and the impact it can make on service member families.”