The Players Championship will be kicking off its annual Military Appreciation Day this year with a $250,000 day-long fundraiser on March 9 that will be matched dollar-for-dollar by The Players on donations up to $250,000.
“We created #Match4Military to continue our longstanding commitment to supporting and honoring our community’s service members, veterans and their families,” said Jared Rice, Executive Director of The Players in an email to WJCT News.
The campaign aims to raise support for several Northeast Florida military organizations with a main focus on a charity called The Fire Watch.
The organization’s goal is to end veteran suicide. To help, a program called "Watch Stander" has been launched. The objective is to gather the local community and train them to essentially “stand watch” in response to the rise in veteran suicides.
Those interested in becoming a Watch Stander have to participate in a 45-minute online training session that focuses on learning how to spot signals, and guide veterans in need of help to the appropriate resources.
Over 300 people have signed up so fair. The Fire Watch has set a goal of getting 3,000 trained by the end of the year. Donations can be made on March 9 at www.theplayers.com/match4military.
Because of the pandemic, this year’s Military Appreciation Day won’t include a concert, ceremony or hospitality venue.
“Even though on-site military appreciation activities will look different this year, we wanted to demonstrate our continued support for our military heroes," said Rice.
The annual tradition of a flyover on Military Appreciation Day will continue this year, featuring the 125th Fighter Wing/FLANG.
Preceded by a fixed wing jet flyover at Naval Station Mayport, the pilots will fly over The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass around noon, proceed to Naval Air Station Jacksonville and conclude in Downtown Jacksonville. The exact route and timing will be shared on The Players social channels as March 9 approaches.
A military job fair will also be held and there will be dining discounts for fans and military members. Additional information is available on The Players website.