Demonstrating its commitment to annually celebrating the area’s military, THE PLAYERS Championship announced Tuesday that it will kick off the 2021 tournament with a day-long, community-wide campaign to drive awareness and support for military organizations in Northeast Florida.
Statistics have revealed COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of military members and their families, with record suicide rates resulting from the isolation and challenges of the pandemic. THE PLAYERS is seeking to encourage the entire community to join forces and serve as champions for the military. The tournament’s campaign, #Match4Military, will go live on Tuesday, March 9, and THE PLAYERS has committed to match, dollar for dollar, all donations up to $250,000.
“We created #Match4Military to continue our longstanding commitment to supporting and honoring our community’s service members, veterans and their families,” said Jared Rice, executive director of THE PLAYERS. “Even though on-site military appreciation activities will look different this year, we wanted to demonstrate our continued support for our military heroes. With one in four area residents connected to the military, this entire community has a unique opportunity to contribute and share in the success of this initiative. Thanks to support from our Proud Partners and local media partners, and participation from our entire community, we look forward to raising a significant amount of funds for military organizations in Northeast Florida.”
#Match4Military will generate support and awareness for Northeast Florida military organizations like K9s for Warriors, The Fire Watch, Greater Jacksonville Area USO, Wounded Warrior Project, Operation New Uniform and more.
Fans interested in donating can do so by going to www.theplayers.com/match4military, powered by GoFundMe.
In addition, THE PLAYERS has chosen Northeast Florida-based nonprofit The Fire Watch as its Charity of the Day on Tuesday, March 9.
Additional military appreciation initiatives during THE PLAYERS 2021:
■ In support of heightened military restrictions limiting large gatherings and adherence to comprehensive health and safety protocols, THE PLAYERS will not include a Military Appreciation ceremony, concert, or hospitality venue (Patriots Outpost) that traditionally hosts thousands of military members and their families. However, THE PLAYERS is collaborating with other community partners to demonstrate support in other ways via the following initiatives:
■ Military Job Fair presented by United Rentals – Saturday, March 6: THE PLAYERS, in partnership with the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition, will host its 10th annual Military Job Fair presented by United Rentals. New in 2021, the job fair will be located outdoors in The Grove, just steps away from THE PLAYERS Welcome Experience. The Military Job Fair is free and open to military personnel, veterans and military spouses.
Flyover Tradition Continues – Tuesday, March 9: The annual tradition of a flyover on Military Appreciation Day will continue in 2021 on Tuesday, March 9, and will feature the 125th Fighter Wing/FLANG. Preceded by a fixed wing jet flyover at Mayport Base, the pilots will fly over THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass around noon, proceed to NAS Jax and conclude in downtown Jacksonville. The exact route and timing will be shared on THE PLAYERS social channels in the near future.
■ United Rentals to host military members and veterans in 17th hole hospitality suite – Thursday, March 11 through Sunday, March 14: United Rentals, Official Equipment Rental Supplier of the PGA TOUR and presenting sponsor of Operation Shower at THE PLAYERS, will be hosting military members and veterans from the following Northeast Florida military organizations in its hospitality suite overlooking the 17th hole.
Thursday, March 11: K9s for Warriors
Friday, March 12: The Fire Watch
Saturday, March 13: Operation New Uniform
Sunday, March 14: Wounded Warrior Project
■ Dining Discounts for Military and Veterans: During the week of THE PLAYERS, several restaurants in Northeast Florida will be providing military members, veterans and/or their families with a dining discount. Valid identification is required in order to receive the discount. Select locations of participating restaurants will display THE PLAYERS Military Appreciation logo in their windows: Participating restaurants include Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Woody’s Bar-B-Q, Applebee’s, Bonefish Grill, Tropical Smoothie, Cousins Maine Lobster and 4 Rivers Smokehouse.
■ PGA TOUR Fan Shop discounts at THE PLAYERS: On Tuesday, March 9, active duty, reserve and retired military members can receive a 20% discount in the PGA TOUR Fan Shop at THE PLAYERS (must have valid military ID).