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National University System Sponsors Military Appreciation Day at Drew Brees Celebrity Championship

The National University System sponsored Military Appreciation Day at the 14th Annual Drew Brees Celebrity Championship Golf Tournament, May 18-20 at the La Costa Resort and Spa, in conjunction with Union Bank. The tournament featured more than 50 celebrity golfers, including some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment.

 The three-day tournament, hosted by New Orleans Saints Super Bowl MVP Quarterback Drew Brees, included Military Appreciation Day on Sunday, May 20, which was sponsored by the National University System. More than 2,000 active and retired members of the armed services and their families were treated with free admission and lunch. The National University Golf Academy sponsored a booth at the luncheon, sharing information about National University’s associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs with the military personnel and their families.

 Participating athletes included San Diego prep star, Heisman Trophy-winning USC Trojan and NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, along with Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal winner Bruce Jenner and Padres favorite and seven-time MLB All-Star Trevor Hoffman. Participating actors included Ray Romano, Dennis Haysbert and Alfonso Ribeiro.

 Professional golfer and former Major League Baseball pitcher Rick Rhoden posted scores of 71 and 74, for a final score of 145 to win the tournament by two strokes over actor Jack Wagner. The real winners however, were members of the military community.

 The tournament raised $195,000 for the Brees Dream Foundation, portions of which were dispersed among San Diego charities to support its ongoing efforts in San Diego. One of the beneficiaries includes San Diego Armed Services YMCA, a non-profit organization that assists military families by offering free family bonding and crisis programs.  Charitable proceeds also benefited the programs Warrior Care Initiative and Childcare for Wounded Warriors and NICU parents, two wounded programs for injured and ill military personnel at Naval Medical Center.

The National University System supports veterans through its Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, funded by a $621,299, three-year grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The Center aligns with the overarching mission of the National University System Center for Veterans Support, which also supports the National University System Homeless Combat Veteran’s Network, an initiative launched last year by Chancellor Jerry C. Lee to address the most core needs of some of the nation’s most dedicated heroes in partnership with Veteran’s Village of San Diego, St. Vincent de Paul Village, and Operation Game On.