Tee off and help veterans in need

Published 9:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Third Annual Ole Brook Open will be Saturday, April 22, at Brookhaven Country Club.

The golf event raises funds for 5th Squad, a “veterans helping veterans” non-profit.

5th Squad formed in 2016 with four soldiers who wanted to keep their service camaraderie alive and help fellow veterans. Based in Mississippi, the all-volunteer, veteran-run group often finds out about needs through recommendations from the Veterans Administration in Mississippi. But veterans can request help directly from 5th Squad, or someone else can make the request on their behalf, and 5th Squad will do what it can to meet the need.

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“If we know of a veteran who is two months behind on his light bill and needs assistance, we’ll step in and pay the bill to help them get caught up,” said Peter Griffin, 5th Squad member, Armed Forces veteran and Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy. “We’ve paid rent to keep veterans from becoming homeless, if that’s the danger. If a veteran is homeless, we will pay first and last month’s rent, or a deposit, so that veteran can get off the street and back on their feet.”

The group’s ability to help is limited by the funds it is able to raise. That’s why events like this are so important, Griffin said, and why he’s grateful for the sponsors and participants.

The title sponsor for the 2023 Ole Brook Open is The Cannabis Company in Brookhaven. Gold sponsor is Ole Brook Nutrition. Five companies are Silver sponsors — K & B Seafood, Brookway Wine and Spirits, Elite Beverage Solutions, Adam Smith Realtor/LandMax, and Southwest Distributors. More than 30 individuals or businesses have sponsored individual holes at $200 each and more sponsors are always welcomed, Griffin said.

“K & B Seafood will provide a crawfish lunch, Brookway Wine and Spirits will have a whiskey tasting, and Southwest Distributors will provide beer,” Griffin said. “There will be cash prizes, door prizes and gun raffles.”

The four-man scramble format is $400 per participating team and there are still open spots. Registration can be completed through 5th Squad’s Facebook events page or in-person at the Country Club.

Door prizes can still be donated — visit https://5thsquad.com — and volunteers are needed for the day — message 5th Squad on Facebook.

The goal of the event is to raise $30,000 for veterans in need, Griffin said.

“All we do is to support the work of 5th Squad helping Mississippi veterans with immediate life-sustaining needs.”