Golf tournament brings awareness to nursing scholarships and the VFW

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 3:46 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A beautiful day to hit the links.

It just happened to coincide with the first ever VFW Golf Tournament at the Red Hawk Golf and Resort. About 17 teams signed up to participate in the tournament. That means about 70 Veterans were out here soaking up the sun and enjoying the conversation.

Money generated from the tournament goes to the Jerry Lazzari Nursing Scholarship Fund where four $1,000 dollar scholarships will be awarded to nursing students at the VA Hospital.

Lazzari’s sons and grandsons put together a foursome with Jerry senior not far from their minds.

“Oh it’s proud,” says John Lazzari on how the family feels about a tournament dedicated to his father’s compassion. “That’s what kept him going after he retired. He was on oxygen at the VFW trying to help people.”

The tournament hopes to bring awareness to the nursing scholarships.

But the organization helps people in more ways than one. This tournament is a way to bring Veterans together--especially those who may feel isolated. They can get together with those who have a common bond and learn more about what the VFW can provide to them.

Candace Lopez and Chance Claxton are the new faces of the organization. The two say they want Veterans their age to consider the VFW and all it has to offer, including a day out golfing.

“We are looking for our younger base,” says Claxton. “But the younger base is busy. They are busy working. They may not even know that we exist. So, you know it is kind of like our mission. Our mission is to get out there and let people know hey there are… there is support out there for you. That’s what I found at the VFW. I needed that.”

All the Veterans out on the course served in different branches of the military.

But the Air Force motto of “Service before Self” was underscored today.

“We want to get them outside,” says David Sousa about Veterans participating in the golf tournament. Sousa is with VFW Post 3396. “We want them to be part of our group; be part of the community. On the other side, we want to ensure that family members and the community know the VFW is here for them.

While the final tally had not been announced, by all accounts this VFW hosted golf tournament was enough of a success they hope to plan it next year on the third Friday in September.

That’s “Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Day.”