Friday, February 23 , 2018, 6:54 pm | Fair 53º


Golf Tourney Fund Drive Raises $250,000 for UCSB Veterans Center

Resource facility helps veterans get used to civilian life on campus

The Birnam Wood Golf Club raised more than $250,000 for the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation at its second annual Veterans Day Golf Tournament held recently.

The funds raised will support the UCSB Veterans Resource Center, which helps veterans adjust to civilian life on campus. The center also connects them to resources for financial support, mentorships, special programs, a resource center, education counseling, housing and health services.
“We wanted to help local veterans and their families. We wanted to be impactful. We wanted it to be education-centric,” said Gregg Foster, a member of the golf tournament committee. “This cause has broad support in the club.”
Jamie Kellner, also a member of the golf tournament committee, said Santa Barbara’s high cost of living creates a lot of pressure for the student veterans to finish in four years. He said their G.I. Bill benefits are based on the cost of living in Port Hueneme, but they come to Santa Barbara where rent is much higher.  
“They’ve stressed this support gets a lot of them over the finish line,” Kellner said.
The UCSB Veteran Resource Center serves more than 100 student veterans. Last year, 17 students received grants because of the support from the first Birnam Wood Golf Club Veterans Day Tournament, said Kevin Hagedorn, director of Veteran and Military Services at UCSB.

“That number will continue to grow as much as the need and funding allows,” said Hagedorn. “The students are so grateful for the support from Birnam Wood Golf Club and the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.”
According to Foster, Birnam Wood Golf Club plans to continue the Veterans Day Golf Tournament for the years to come. “This is a lifetime commitment,” he said. Foster said that because the cost of the event is underwritten by sponsors, 100 percent of the proceeds raised from the tournament goes to supporting veterans. 
Other members of the original golf tournament committee include Lee Asseo, Joe Hardin Jr., Nancy Hunter, Michael Maloco, Wayne Siemens, and Peter Ziegler.

Kevin Hagedorn, Veteran and Military Services director at UCSB, and his wife, Andria. Click to view larger
Kevin Hagedorn, Veteran and Military Services director at UCSB, and his wife, Andria. (Birnam Wood Golf Club)

For more information, visit or call 259-4394.

— Hannah Rael/Chris Davis for Birnam Wood Golf Club.

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