YANTIS - Shotguns, rods and reels, and golf clubs. What more does a person need to make a good weekend great?
How about helping out a worthy cause that provides scholarships for the families of military lost or wounded in battle.
That is exactly what Patriot Sporting Challenge’s Lunkers, Bunkers and Clays event will be Oct. 27-28 at Lake Fork, adjacent to The Links at Land’s End and nearby Hidden Lakes Hunting Resort. The competition end of the event will require each four-man team to have one shooter for a round of sporting clays at Hidden Lakes on the first day and two fishermen and two golfers the second day.
“The Patriots Sporting Challenge is a trilogy of events to offer a competitor whether you golf, whether you fish or whether you shoot sporting clays. We can challenge you on one of the finest golf courses in Northeast Texas and one of the finest lakes on the planet and it also offers some of the best and most complete competition shooting sites with Hidden Lakes,” said Chuck Roy, an event volunteer.
The idea began when Roy, a local businessman, entertained Folds of Honor officials at his bed and breakfast one night and learned about the nationwide program. That led to discussions with people and businesses around the Lake Fork area to determine a willingness to get involved. Initially the discussion focused on golf, but soon spread to fishing on the lake and shooting.
“Hidden Lakes, Lake Fork and Land’s End make a perfect marriage for anyone to shoot, to fish or to play golf and to participate in a noble and worthy cause. All the money that is netted out provides money for the Folds of Honor Foundation.
The Folds of Honor fundamentally stands in the gap between what the government can provide and what the dependents of severely injured or fallen military personnel need. They provide scholarship money to the children as well as the wives to help them continue a style of life that would be so indicative of the sacrifice that family member gave,” Roy explained.
Founded in 2007, the Tulsa area-based Folds of Honor has given out more than 12,000 scholarships valued up to $5,000 each. Scholarships are provided to dependents attending college as well as for younger children to attend private school, receive tutoring or to use to help pay for school uniforms.
The organization is very upfront about its financials, posting them visibly on its website. Folds of Honors officials note they have put 86 cents of every dollar raised toward its mission over a three-year average period, and have stayed at 80 percent and above since it was formed.
The organization has several chapters around Texas. It is best known for its Patriots Golf Day in which more than 5,000 courses nationwide ask golfers to donate at least a dollar per round toward the scholarship weekend over the Labor Day weekend.
The Lake Fork event is a first of its kind for Folds of Honor, and it is getting early strong support from sponsors as well as having already signed up 20 teams in a potential field of 72.
“It is an outdoor party. You get to participate in your favorite outdoor activities, fishing or shooting or golf, and in the evening have excellent food and some outstanding entertainment. There are things to do for the entire family and the spouses to come out and have a good time,” Roy said.
The sporting clays shoot will be a 50-target shoot from a stationary stand with multiple target options from each position.
The golf tournament will be a shamble, meaning each team will begin play on a hole from its best drive.
The tournament will be a five-fish, heavy stringer event. The events are open to participants at any level, including fishing guides and golf professionals.
Individual competition winners will be proclaimed as will top teams with trophies, prizes and cash prizes awarded.
Friday night’s social at the Links at Land’s End will be open to participants and their families and certain levels of sponsors. The evening will include a dinner, small auction and entertainment by Country Music Association entertainer Don Woods from Yantis.
After Saturday’s competition, a bigger event open to the public will be held at the Links at Land’s End. That event will include food from several restaurants and a concert by Woods. Tickets are $25 per person with all proceeds going to the cause.
Entry fee in Bunkers, Lunkers and Clays is $2,000 per team. Persons interested in sponsoring the event can do so at prices from $250 to $25,000. Purple Heart sponsorships of $5,000 include one team entry. A Silver Star sponsorship of $10,000 includes two team entries and a $25,000 Medal of Honor sponsorship includes three team entries and more.
For more information on teams or sponsorships, contact event chairman Garry Schnabel at 817-296-8985 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to https://tinyurl.com/ydd2ubl5 or check out the Patriot Sporting Challenge page on Facebook.
Have a comment or opinion on this story? Contact outdoor writer Steve Knight by email at email@example.com. Follow Steve on Facebook at Texas AllOutdoors.