Teeing off for a good cause

By Mary Rose Williams

Teeing off for a good cause

August 26, 2013 Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 10:21 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- It was time to tee off for our troops Monday morning in Peoria.

The tradition lives on for the fifth consecutive year, filling the whole day with golf activities for a good cause.

Veterans and soldiers in active duty from all over the state gathered to tee off at the Mount Hawley club, all to serve one purpose: to help raise money for a good cause.

"Tee it up for Troops" is the non-profit organization behind it all. They started this annual event five years ago, when a U.S. Soldier wanted his family to help those who risked their lives for their country, and help their families back home.

More than 400 Veterans and active soldiers participated Monday at both Mount Hawley and the Peoria Country Club.

Although "Tee It Up" has raised almost $1,000,000 from its efforts, board members say it's about much more than money.

"It's not for the money," said Frank Benningfield of the Board of Directors. "I think more than anything we're humbled by the opportunity to serve these guys, and that it's the camaraderie that we ourselves have."

"We're not looking for something in return," added Jeff Green, also on the Board of Directors. "You know this is just truly just flat a thank you. And that's what I've done with Frank, it's not about advertising or anything else, it's just thank you."

Participants said they were grateful, and that the day means a lot.

Several different national and local military groups benefit from this annual event, including "Hope for the Warriors" and the "Bob Michel VA Clinic".

There is always a need for support, so anyone that is able to help the cause is asked to donate at their website, http://www.teeitupforthetroopsil.org.