American Forces Press Service
SPRINGFIELD, Va., Sept. 21, 2006 – Nearly 100 golfers and their associated sponsors helped raise more than ,000 to benefit the SemperComm Foundation’s mission during the SemperComm Golf Classic tournament at the Fort Belvoir Golf Club in Alexandria, Va., Sept. 15.
The SemperComm Foundation is nonprofit organization dedicated to supplying morale-boosting communications and entertainment equipment, software and services to small, overseas remote U.S. military bases. The foundation also is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting ways Americans and the corporate sector are supporting the nation’s servicemembers.
“This was a first for us, since our major fundraising event to date has been our annual Gala, which is in the spring. It’s great that we can have fun and still help our men and women in uniform,” said Lara Coffee, SemperComm’s executive director. “Without a doubt, the Golf Classic has been a big success because we met our fundraising goals.
“Our players and sponsors have expanded our ability to offer the “SemperComm Suite’ to new U.S. military bases around the world,” she added.
The SemperComm Suite is a package of equipment and services SemperComm sends to small, remote overseas U.S. military installations that lack easy ability to keep in touch with friends, family and their lives back in the United States. The package includes secured communications capabilities, a satellite dish, televisions, DVD players, movies, computers, and Internet access, satellite television and Voice Over Internet Protocol telephone service — all meant to boost the morale of servicemembers through their ever-expanding tours of duty.
The big hit of the day was former “JAG” actress Karri Turner, who attended through SemperComm’s major partner, Stars for Stripes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality entertainment to internationally deployed U.S. military forces. Turner was on hand to cheer on the participants and help encourage people to give to SemperComm.
“SemperComm and Stars for Stripes is the perfect partnership. I have been so blessed to be able to visit our troops deployed to really remote locations throughout Korea, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and many of the other “-stans’ since my first tour in 2000,” Turner said. “I see first-hand the importance of providing these wonderful men and women with communications and entertainment equipment as well as visits by celebrity entertainment.
“All of this is so important to the overall morale of our military personnel who are sacrificing so much to defend our freedoms,” she said.
Turner said she’d be going on a Stars for Stripes tour to Southwest Asia this holiday season, adding that it will be her second trip to that area this year.
“We’re hoping to visit one of the adopted SemperComm bases while we are on the holiday tour,” she said.
“The Golf Classic brought together a great mix of private citizens, military personnel, contractors and supporters, all with the idea of making it possible for our men and women stationed overseas to stay in contact with their friends and families,” Coffee added. “We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made.”