Golf tournament a benefit for soldiers injured in Afghanistan
The Cajun Classic and Operation Open Arms are sponsoring a golf tournament for PFC Corey Kent and Specialist Michael Araujo Saturday, Oct. 23. at Pelican Preserve Golf Club in Fort Myers.
“Our community owes Chuck Wininger, founder of Cajun Classic, every recognition for his unselfish dedication to U.S. troops,” Operation Open Arms Founder Capt. John “Giddy Up” Bunch said. “Honor is given unconditionally.”
Bunch said he also wants to acknowledge Wininger’s unconditional acceptance of adding Araujo to the golf tournament, which was already reserved solely for Corey Kent.
The golf tournament will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with a shotgun start. The tournament will feature four-player teams with a cost of $110 per player.
Raffle tickets will also be sold during the event for the sunset cruise grand prize for four, among other prizes.
Wininger said a buffet-style lunch will be served after the tournament and various prizes will be given away for the winners.
Wininger said although they will accommodate those interested in participating in the tournament Saturday morning, he advises players and teams to sign up no later than Thursday. Registration can be done by calling Wininger at 239-994-6494, emailing him at email@example.com or by visiting the website at www.cajunclassic.org.
Pelican Preserve Golf Club is located at 9802 Pelican Preserve Blvd. in Fort Myers.
Bunch said the fund-raiser provides the organizers with the opportunity to double the number of heros being honored.
“I really think it is a good thing,” Bunch said.
Bunch said the tournament is a fantastic event for a worthy cause.
“This is a charity event where all proceeds go towards Corey and Michael,” Bunch said. He explained that there is an honor connected to an event when all the proceeds go towards the individuals being honoring.
Wininger, a Vietnam veteran, began his foundation Cajun Classic 13 years ago to help young servicemen and women with education, along with settling them into civilian life both financially and psychologically.
“It is a passion for me to do this because not only have I walked in their shoes, but I know what they are faced with when they get back,” he said. “It is gratifying for me to do what I do for them because I know what they are going through.”
Kent was awarded the Purple Heart and Medal of Valor after being wounded in Afghanistan. He was on foot patrol when he was hit by an improvised explosive device in northern Afghanistan. Kent lost both legs and three fingers on his left hand. He graduated with honors from Mariner High School in 2006.
He is still undergoing treatment and rehabilitation from his injuries.
After Araujo graduated from Mariner High School in 2008, he attended boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. In December 2008, he graduated from boot camp and military police training and was immediately sent to Fort Steward, Ga. He left for his first detachment to Afghanistan on July 28, 2009, and was injured by an 18-ton IED explosive under his vehicle Oct. 16, 2009. He was awarded a Purple Heart in December while being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.