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UCSB Groups Plan Golf Tournament to Raise Funds for War Veterans

Future Leaders of America, UCSB Student Veterans Organization tee up to assist transition to campus environment from military service

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

Organizers from two UCSB groups are asking golf fans to tee off in January as a way to raise money for veterans’ groups on campus.

The UCSB Student Veterans Organization and the Future Leaders of America are hosting a Jan. 12 tournament at Ocean Meadows Golf Course, 6295 Whittier Drive in Goleta. The proceeds will go to the two organizations, along with a percentage that will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Noozhawk sat down with Raymond Morua, board chairman of Future Leaders of America and previous president of the UCSB Veterans group and an Iraq War veteran, to talk about the event.

He said the money raised for FSA will help pay for summer camps and conferences, and for student veterans to attend events that will help them learn about what benefits they may qualify for when they return from service.

“We have more vets coming back using their GI Bill,” Morua said. “You have a lot of guys coming out of a war zone and into an academic setting ... It’s really different. It’s hard to relate.”

The campus group gives vets a place to talk with others who have shared experiences.

“It’s essential to have these groups so there’s a sense of belonging,” he said.

Victor Marta, president of Student Veterans Organization at UCSB, said he hopes January’s fundraiser will increase awareness so that more student vets will join in.

Marta said they plan to raffle off textbooks for veterans at UCSB during the event. He also said the group plans to host more barbecues and fishing trips, and that events like this can help vets “somewhat alienated by college.”

Sign-ups will be taken until Dec. 19, and the groups are looking for players, sponsors and donationed prizes for the silent auction.

Ocean Meadows has been in the news for another reason as conservationists are working to return the course back into a wetland environment.

The area was originally wetlands, but in the 1960s, soil was brought in to create the golf course.

The Trust for Public Land aims to convert the course back to wetlands, and can do so once the California Coastal Commission meets next year, according to Simon Herrera, Ocean Meadows’ general manager.

When Noozhawk visited Ocean Meados for this interview, rains had left the course covered in large pools of water, where ducks and egrets were gathering.

In the meantime, January’s tournament may be one of the last fundraising events held at the course before it closes for good.

“It’s an honor for me to support them,” Herrera said of the two student groups.

The tournament is $80 per player, which covers green fees and lunch, and check-in begins at 8 a.m. with a 9 a.m. tee-off.

Those interested in participating should RSVP by contacting Morua at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.701.5272, or Marta at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 760.580.8351.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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