Volunteers who maintain the course at American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Lakewood, Washington, will be greatly aided by a generous donation from two companies that are more than 4,700 miles apart. Veterans who use the course win too, as the gift will contribute to improved playing conditions.
Thanks to Bernhard and Company, and one of their distributors, Western Equipment in Kent, Wash., the course will have the use of a set of Express Dual and Anglemaster 3000 grinders.
American Lake Veterans Golf Course, the only course in the USA designed specifically for wounded and disabled veterans, is in the midst of a multi-million campaign to expand and enhance its facilities. Volunteers have maintained and operated ALVGC since 1995, when federal funding was cut for it and other courses built on Veterans Administration hospital grounds.
“Bernhard and Company is honored to team up with Western Equipment in supporting American Lake Veterans Golf Course”, said Bob Buckingham, Bernhard CEO. “We are committed to being a go-to resource for the maintenance crew as they incorporate this state-of-the-art equipment into their turf cutting regime.”
In 1994, the Friends of American Lake Veterans Golf Course, a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt non-profit organization, was established to assist volunteers with improvements, repairs, care and maintenance of the course. Currently, approximately 170 volunteers assist with maintaining and operating the facility.
When Bernhard and Western Equipment heard that ALVGC were looking to improve golf course conditions, once described as “….sun-scorched and almost unusable due to the uncooperative sprinkler system and a lack of funding for general maintenance”, they immediately offered the Express Dual and Anglemaster grinders to the volunteers.
Along with time-saving and ease-of-use benefits, the Express Dual and Anglemaster grinders will enable Jim Jackson and his volunteer crew to achieve a superior quality of cut with their donated mowing equipment.
Last year, Jack Nicklaus and Nicklaus Design donated design services to create nine new holes and to improve the accessibility of the existing nine-hole track. The ALVGC “Friends” organization then embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise $3 million for construction-related costs.
“For what these guys have given to us, sacrificing life and limb for the freedoms we enjoy, there will never be a charge. Just to be asked to be a part of it is a privilege,” said The Golden Bear, whose charitable activities are as legendary as his achievements as a golfer and golf-course designer.
The course, with its special accommodations for mobility-impaired veterans, is expected to become a model facility that can be replicated across the country as a much-needed recreational and rehabilitation outlet for the growing population of veterans.
Using the campaign theme, “A Course in Courage: Healing America’s Veterans through Golf,” American Lake Veterans Golf Course unites volunteers of all stripes. Some are young, some are in their 80s; some are wealthy, but many are of modest means; some are well-known, others less so; some have written large checks, others donate time. All are united as Friends of American Lake Veterans Golf Course and in saying “yes” to providing a more accessible and enjoyable golfing experience for those who have served and sacrificed in service to our country.
American Lake Veterans Golf Course www.veterangolf.org