Scramble for Freedom breaks record for proceeds raised for veterans

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(KNOB NOSTER, Mo.) – The West Central Missouri Veterans Assistance League raised more than $12,000 at the 12th annual Scramble for Freedom Golf Tournament June 7 at Royal Oaks Golf Course at Whiteman Air Force Base.
The Veterans Assistance League plans to use the money to help purchase a new handicapped-accessible bus to take veterans on a variety of outings. All proceeds from the tournament will go into the bus fund, according to a news release.
A total of 128 golfers from west central Missouri, eastern Kansas and southern Iowa attended this year’s event.
Team Ringer from Odessa, consisting of Eddy Scott, Ron Cumberford, Dan Billings and Corkey Nickerson, won the A Flight with a score of 56. Team Bi-Lo from Warrensburg, consisting of Lou Sharp, Bob Martinez, Richard Schnakenberg and Tom Fatkas, won Flight B with a score of 66. A team of longtime college buddies Dustin Gray, Andy Hart, Mark Sheppard and Nic Sanders won Flight C with a score of 70. Team Bi-Lo donated their winnings back to the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg.
Brad Haggard won the putting contest. Mindy Coyle and John Ingram won the closest to the pin and Shawn Graham had the longest putt. David Henderson won the Kansas City Chiefs football and Joe Eccleton was the winner of the golf raffle.
One feature of this year’s tournament was the golf cart sponsorship. Latisha Koetting, director of volunteer services at the Veterans Home, invited people to sponsor a cart in honor or in memory of their favorite veteran and submit their service photo. A record 82 golf carts were sponsored by individuals, organizations and businesses from all over Missouri.
University of Central Missouri President Chuck Ambrose drove a golf cart with a photo of World War II Navy Veteran Arthur Barnett on it. Barnett lives at the Missouri Veterans Home and was sponsored by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary in his hometown of Holden. Midway through the tournament, Barnett surprised Ambrose by attending the tournament with his daughter and granddaughter.
The corporate sponsors for the event were Blue Demon, LammTech and McCarthy Toyota, all of Sedalia, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5925 in Lincoln.
“I was really speechless with this year’s results. I did not realize we could do this well,” said VAL President Marvin Neal in a written statement. “We’ve been blessed. We had the turnout of our good friends, some who have been with us since the tournament first began. We had a beautiful day and our golf committee did a tremendous job.”