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USO Golf Tournament 072218

Jul 19, 2018|

AN INTERVIEW WITH JEFF KELLER AND DON LEINGANG FROM THE USO ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO WITH MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY AND THEIR FUNDRAISING GOLF TOURNAMENT.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is microscope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. I'm your blocks and today I'm turning things over to dusty hero commander com Sports Radio stations in eighty the fan he's got all the information we need to know about the US open golf tournament coming up. And welcome in non dusty here from 1080 the sands does seem him in the morning six to 9 AM Monday through Fridays and I'm happy to be joined by two important man for US so northwest. Commander Don allying gained. And the United States navy and Jeff Keller joining me and say thank you for taking the time guys really appreciate it. He doesn't thank you for RS we appreciate that now be you guys are here on behalf of the US so on the first of all for those that don't know can you just give us a little. Inside what is the mission of the US owned oil what is it that you guys accomplish here and Portland in the Pacific northwest. But the dude mission of the USO is do you support active duty guard and reserve and retired members of the military. We have facilities throughout the world typically in airports and on military bases where we provide aid safe haven arrest based. Four traveling members of the military. A neat place to eat some charge or phones while they're traveling through airports. We also sport families. A lot of members of the military to travel with their families or families or or traveling to be with. They're a soldier in. Soviet it's a great safe place for members of military traveling. Now one's dignity is a getting into this year is. I'm coming up August 16 out of line and farms golf club the US so northwest is starting a golf tournament Portland stars and stripes golf tournament. Coddling and firms on the sixteenth of August. Until throughout the the turn meant that you guys and why you guys started to get into the golf. Game well I think there is always in need you know to raise funds to support the military because we're not military funded by people think USO. US probably stands for United States or maybe uncle sugar. You know we're gonna get some money from them but we don't and so we've always in a private organization that needs to raise our own funds to take care of the military. Here in the Pacific northwest so this is actually our second tell a year at Langdon farms and our fourth determine overall here in the end that organ. Portland area so we're pretty excited about it actually. Now created the opportunities that you guys offer on the what are those CA going to be going to an all these proceeds go right back into the US so. What I is that gold led the tournament to used to help benefit. Well and look mostly in order to raise the funds to take care of the military and we get. Couple my gray hairs are from the obvious that we have every year. And the last three years our audits and said that 91 cents out of every dollar we bring in goes to support the military the military family so obviously that's an amazing number. And so. I'm we're looking to have a hundred a 144 golfers outlined in farm and we're really just looking for companies that our military friendly. Military companies are companies that want to support the military but they really don't know how to do it for so the USO gives them that opportunity and you know if you are played Langley farms it's a it's pretty amazing course and so. The more people that we can come out and and play. The better. Our format you is is a little bit different so SI say 1080 the fan when the radio stations wanted to have a foursome. You actually just supply three golfers and then your fourth golfer is going to be an active duty military person from the area. So you get it you know I guess ride the golf course are right the golf Carter Aaron in. Kind of figure out what Weis is 22 year old kid you know in the navy here in the army or what what makes it more you know raises Hannan and serve our nation. And so it's it's there we've found that our sponsors actually get a lot more out of it than actually. The military member that probably wouldn't be able to afford to play it rang the farms but through sponsorship in the kinds of organizations. They get to do that as well. Now you mentioned you know only a twenty year olds from the army are trying to euros in the navy. You know in the US so as you said wasn't it isn't something that's funded by the government so is this all branches of the military that that comes through your doors and and. Our service. It is. It's. Army navy air force Marines Coast Guard guard and reserve. And all retired members of the military with twenty plus years or more all welcomed in the USO plus their family there to. And it's and that is dead that's astounding it's amazing that new everybody's kind of welcome open arms and yet the fans who actually meet so I started I retired ten years ago from the navy so he actually set I was commander size like going back like ten years that I wish I saw nobody I had ten years a very tough but I'm is so when I started in 2008 after our first year. We will help like 155000. Military and their family or something and that doesn't seem like hell lot ray and so I'm happy to say that last year was over 750. That we assisted in some way shape or form so you just see in ten years the growth from about a 155 to over 750000. Military it's almost like well if you build it they'll come I know Jeff can even attest to that because we now doubled in size at the airport has traffic level. It is you know increasing every month so it's really exciting. Yet that is one thing you can Jeff I mean did last year we're talking at the black and gold. Did fishing tournament that is held here in Portland does help support and in parts the US so. About the expansion at its Portland airport Indies has doubled the size fool what is been going on out of pediatrics. Well. The port has been a great partner for us that there's an actual donated space our original space was donated and when this additional space next door became available. They reach out to us and end. We jumped at the opportunity we were pretty small pretty and one of the smaller USOs in the country. And to be able to double our size. Not only gives us room to take care of more people more more members of the military is a come through but it lets us do a better job doing it we just have more space we can be more accommodating. Couple weeks ago we had eighty. Junior I navy RO TCC cadets come through. We wouldn't have been able to do that before and 8080 kids eighty teenagers and they're all one time with all their gear and it was pretty it may. Say that I do have enough food to have thing here Costco couple days before our own Costco the day after that I had a fury stocks that that's something that you know we we sure about these you know. An army navy the big rivalry they have on the football field between the two academies there. Pulling you guys are bringing everybody together Nina in the navy rubbing shoulders with the army and Marine Corps in the Coast Guard and and I must be a cool extras can see everybody come together because in the end it's all represent the United States. Yeah you know and. And actually kind of a one important thing is. We hope that each of the teams each of the service branches will have a team at our golf tournament. And so you'll actually see. The four best of the army the four bass of the navy of the four best of the Coast Guard air force. National Guard and who don't miss burglaries that they then they should all have four and they will actually compete. Inside the tournament that we're gonna have it Langdon farms so you know the civilian teams can have by Muller begins and compete just go for the best score. But the military teams are not allowed to use Mulligan so. They actually are very in the competition is pretty stiff. At the turn a minute and you can see that they're watching each other fairway fairway to make sure know what's kicking the ball and you know it out of the rough and into the into the fairways and things like that so it's pretty competitive that is awesome I mean you guys' skin and come to an investment which branch is usually the best golfers. Why I will tell you is my navy background it's not usually a navy right into quietly as there and CEO multimillion this. Is yeah. I've we have been known golf balls off the aircraft a deck of an aircraft carrier once or twice off but I military just in Seattle on the twentieth to June we have our competition. The same type of format. And there was a three way tie. Between the navy. The the Coast Guard and the National Guard. And so they had to go to one hole for a tiebreaker. And they all had scores of 61. On a par 71 course. But they need he won the tiebreaker because they guy from the navy chipped in a 45 foot chip into the hole it and that was the tiebreaker and when they turn it around so it was amazing just to hear the stories. And also like when they started writing this discourse. Out on the board you can see army guys in LA coli and creepy you know it was all like Warner you squish you guys can shoot that score you know so it was really a nice camaraderie deceit and so when companies come to support this type of event. I mean that's the camaraderie that you're bringing to them and you know just for a day they can maybe kind of forget that they might be a week away from my deployment to Afghanistan where they need to go. August 16 out of Langdon farms in golf club it's the USO northwest Portland stars and stripes and golf tournament. And how can people go and sign up in where should we direct people that one either it's plain the tournament or become a sponsor of the tournament. Yeah I'm if they go to our our web site US. Oh and W dot org. A back slash Portland golf. That will give each of the main page and get you all the information whether you wanna be. I donor to sign or an individual golfer to sign up I mean maybe your veteran Arabia's wanna come out now that camaraderie again. If you go to that page that'll take you to wherever you're just a click away from signing and at that point. And ensure military fashion years sponsorship opportunities are on the star systems seem go from five star. All the way down to a one star can you kind of explained the opportunities that companies in May have. For this golf tournament and and and when you have every price point imaginable from an individual golfer all the way to presenting sponsors. We view India and actually we've kind of devolve to from those five star. Down sponsorship level here Portland we tried it this first year. We actually have our medal of honor sponsor. Which is Stan Brock black and gold northwest. We have our silver star sponsor levels which is the next level down and then we added a new level this year it's called her gold star heroes hole contest polls from. And what those four holes will be they'll be along drive the KP a hole in one and then it's a putting contest and each one of those holes or recognize a fallen hero. In the families have all been. Talked to and they're gonna actually be coming out with memorabilia and pictures of their of their kids that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. And then we have the brawn Sar level which is to stumble though that we have the purple heart level in the way of our whole sponsor chip level and then again as you mentioned individual golfer. Purchase of patients are we we tried to. Create an opportunity for just about everybody at every level and what were your interests are where your where you're able to fund. Now I did that is great again USA ONW dot org slash Portland golf. Is that no web site to go to view on information. This goes from sponsorship opportunities and playing opportunities to a military personnel and and volunteers I mean you gazes 791 cents of every dollar is going. T these families. And she's the servicemen and women. The serving the country so it the volunteer aspect is is probably huge in this tournament in the US so as a whole. Yeah I would just say overall between. Washington and organ we probably have over 500 volunteers. And you know allotted for various reasons some of saw how they're Brothers sisters were treated. When they were saying in the Vietnam era and how they weren't treated so nicely and we even have some World War II volunteers. That are out there are supporting us. To come to our senators every week to intended for a four hour shift yourself. To even just sometimes it's just organizations that wanted to do something to support the military. And no I give up some time to come out to the tournament. And so I mean we're really blessed and that way that's. People want to give any support the USO and support the military and so we just try to give them options and I think that's really the name of the game is for Jeff and neither senator managers in the US so USO itself. To give them options in order to be involved. Now that is how many a year fundraisers do you guys have a locally is there are other opportunities that people can get involved is they want to you. A help the US on May be can't get out to Arlington firms this year. There are a lot of opportunities whether it's volunteering. At the USO senator we have nearly a hundred volunteers. At the senator we rely on our volunteers to keep our center open. There are or it. I could I get dressed as an example I just got went to the mailbox the other day and open it up there were two checks just from local members of the community that one was a fifty dollar check and other loans 200 dollar Jack. And so because we are not funded by the government or the military we rely on those donations those community donations. Even though the fifty dollar ones. Are so important to the day to day operations of our organization. Andy is we kind of look back in we go all right how did this grow in the something can you tell someone about the history of the USO and and how it got to the point where you know Portland is expanding in Seattle has got a great senator at that sea tac airport as well. Yeah I think you know a kind of really starts back in 1941 when president Roosevelt said hey you know what inevitably we're gonna this nation is gonna go to war and how we gonna take care the morale. And welfare of those military men and women that are gonna join rate. And so the young you can S army in their building tanks in the navy has to build ships and so there wasn't real and we're obviously we're coming out of the depression so there wasn't really. Funding to take care of them and so. Roosevelt actually ask six organizations if you look on Jeff from my shirt she could see six stars and those six stars are actually for the I'm. The six organizations and said hey they raised their hand and they said we'll take care of the military. You know what. During the war and then forever I guess because I hope the result be around forever but really these six organizations at the YMCA the YWCA. The Salvation Army the traveler's aid group the national Jewish welfare board in the national Catholic community services association and so. A lot of those are really they're still. That involved in supporting in the in our communities today but we still honor those six communities that stepped up and said we will take care of our military. On our logo with a six ourself. It really started back then 77 years ago and it's really just involved evolved to I like to say the US so is really the 911 for the military. And the reason I say that is because a lot of times they can't ask for things. Because they're just a mandated. You know by DOD instruction that they can't go out and ask for support. But you know at the US OK and and you know in my ten years I've just realized that it if I'm not you know almost daily going out and asking for something to support them. I'm not really doing my job and I think the rest of my staff kind of feels the same way because. You know that's the only way that a lot of times are gonna get support because. The US so can't necessarily do that we can when we have partners and how you know whether it's some food at the senators you know that's donated or. Different things like that that's what we need to do as a USO to make sure that. We can give as many comforts to our military and their families as possible. Now only in those comforts and mean do we think it just being a PX and C tech and Jeff you're talking about how you know the same was coming when they're when they're traveling and no what are some the other. Aspect sega's kind of help on now to reach out today to the meadowlands. There's a lot of different things one of the greatest things is our honor flights where World War II veterans and our transitioning into Korean War and Vietnam veterans that travel back to Washington DC for a three or four days. Excursion I'm sure you've seen him on TV with the returning and and it's it's amazing I brought my wife out to one. After I'd done a couple of them. Then she sat and cried the whole time is just so powerful built it since so those men and women back and let them do things that they haven't. That that sees things that they hadn't seen before they finish their trip and Arlington every every. Every time yes it's amazing. We do deployment ceremonies where we go in support does the men and women that are deployed and we just have 142. Fighter wing at TVX. We view dignified transfers which are of the remains of fallen heroes coming back through the airport. And there are a lot of different support. Services that we provide dead hard outside just the senator fleet week under a rose festival we were down there for three days. A supporting. Men and women down there. It's a slow there's lots of opportunities there vets health fairs and that is dead Marines have health fair coming up in about three weeks will be out supporting them at bat. Me say media say that the other support system in ninety done users talking about the morale Latin president Roosevelt. Com was started to USO fork I can you see that on their faces when they come through the doors that you know it is a boost in that camaraderie that's there. You know a lot of times it's like okay Nicky given that like yup that's just pitcher you know a young family there like maybe 22 years old comes and wife. Than maybe the military remember visa mail like they have one kid they're bringing their dock there on the way to Korea. And yet they found out that they have to stay out that their flight does and actually leave until about 6 o'clock the next morning. And so they're literally say at one of our centers for like 24 hours. Really and so. If you're on a fixed income like that I mean how do you go through three meals for three people in he he really can't and so the US so it's all complimentary that's why we find race. But just to see though the look on their face when you get my heart Tarver sandwich in the light one how much does that simulate while it's like free. Album manner because you're serving our nation in their and you just see you like for one thing a lot of times it's a look of think initially no because you know they may only have like five dollars in the pocket or whatever manner it is just a nice thing to see and that's everything I think that Jeff. And I we could see every day there's always that thankful that's by the military Furl for what we do from. Others it. We have led journal. Where we leave it out on a on a table there at the senator fur guests to right. You know feedback and comments and it's amazing to read those comments I read every two or three days because we did you know them multiples every day. It just to hear their gratitude. They're genuine appreciation for us being there and how we made their day just a little bit easier a little bit brighter. By just smiling faces and and a place to rest a safe place harass us for COLT. And if you wanna be a part of both helping dad joy and that camaraderie being grown at the US so northwest. The porn stars and stress golf tournament again Arlington firms is a great waited to get involved and it's USO and W dot org slash Portland golf. Ian tiny sponsorship opportunities that are available. Come for you in if you wanna Godlington farms we just had aren't golf tournament out there for the stand and I can't say it's in great shape right now so you get a million a great time. I had to go out and play there's plenty of opportunities and if you don't have any money again the volunteer. A sign of the day got a tab right there you can sign up to volunteer. As well. A you can. Don you were talking about. Years' service and being in the United States may mean how obviously that isn't an easy way for you to get into. The US so it'd just be you'll be you have say a connection to the military as well and you've been helping veteran houses. Hugged each news slain Y means so much to you to be with the US are now. Yeah. Nearly six years ago and actually on August 15 of 2012 mile Sunday under was killed in Afghanistan. Obviously that changed our lives. It. It's got me thinking about. You know making a difference was so important my son's. And I needed to find a way to make a difference myself to really give back to support. Anyway I could the men and women that wrote that blank check for our country. And I got involved with some locals smaller veterans nonprofits shortly after Andrew was killed my state involved with those my wife and I train service dogs for veterans. Inspection brought one of them in here when I met him just Austin earlier. And last year late last year. I'm friends FaceBook friends with Christine do who used to be the center manager here in Portland and she posted it she was leaving the position. And moving up to Seattle. And I reached out to her ends a week later set I was sitting in front of Don and we were talking about moving forward next and opportunities in the end. Came on board. It's it's pretty amazing I get. Take care of help us support active duty and our guard reserve and retired members the military during the day and on nights and weekends I get to support veterans. And I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity that dawn has given me two. Do what I'm supposed to be doing. And did this is kind of that community they guess talk about and bringing kind of everybody. Together it is. The greatest cause USO northwest Portland stars and stripes tournament is just a small part. On again US set he US ONW dot org such Portland golf. Is one way to get involved at that and Jeff I met you because of the connection with a black Ingle northwest and you mentioned Stan Brock earlier. And that's something that. You guys have a great connection with and were indeed doing it again this year as well how did that relationship start. With Stanton and growing in June from one of your other fundraising arms. Well. I've known Brock families for twenty years. And one of the younger brother's ray my oldest son Andrew played sports for Marie was his coach and football basketball baseball for many years Fo all the way through senior in high school and and I knew about the event here that'd been held up in a story of the first two years that blaster was for sure they moved to Portland didn't. And when they moved to Portland I reached out to another one of the Brothers Willie Brock. To see if I can get involved with the event just a volunteer. And so I went down and spent the day down there on Sunday the night of gala. I went out early in the morning helped with set. Christine and Don we're out there that evening. Just kind of weird how I I just got laid off from my job about. Two weeks three weeks before the event last year and I was out there just to give back in London. And wanted to be a part of what they were doing. And it's just kind of ironic how a year later the air around sitting on the other side and helping plan and promote and work with the event work with black and gold northwest. Work with Entercom radio and now. To tour with the US so so. And it is awesome to see cannon that those relationships grown build a USO and black from the northwest this year interest isn't in there and fishing tournament that they have since September. You can go to go black and gold northwest dot com as well. He retired commander in Don my anger and lying gang don't alma skirt up every time Don sorry about that. And Jeff Keller we really appreciate the time again in the US on northwest Portland stars insurance golf tournament out Alain and farms. Good US ONW dot org slash Portland golf guys who really appreciate your time thank you so much for coming down. We really appreciate it now I mean come out black and gold is one of our our presenting sponsor so. Come on I'm just have a great time yeah I mean that's really what it's all about her or provide to something like we can put this wind bag about your company. Or any room right that just so the military when they open up that bagged. And they're like wow this company appreciates what I've done and really that's the name of the game is we want to we want our sponsors to realize just as much. And get to get something out of it just as much as our military doesn't so that's how it always works. I think day you'll find that the members of the military are incredibly loyal to the businesses that support them and just the word of mouth from now on that is. Tremendous opportunity for your company can get involved because they are incredibly loyal Wendell will stick with the. Thank you guess so much of the time they didn't. Mitchell's bill is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. I'm Gary block some if you're involved with a nonprofit or public affairs organization or if you have an ideal for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Visit microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website and submit your information there. Thanks for listening to metros go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.