Oct. 30, 2009
By Leigh Torbin
ORLANDO, Fla. -
During each football game this year, UCF Athletics and Holler-Classic has proudly had a salute to the troops and recognized veterans for their service to this country, including a purple heart recipient.
Not only is the Marshall game Community Heroes Night, for which UCF fans donated tickets for use by local police officers, fire fighters and military personnel, but this week's "Salute The Troops" will recognize Major Dan Rooney. Rooney is an F-16 fighter pilot from the Oklahoma National Guard who has served three tours in Iraq and gone on to raise millions for the families of his fellow soldiers.
Rooney founded the Folds of Honor Foundation which honorably provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving the U.S. The goal of the foundation is to ensure that families of the fallen must never endure alone and aims to genuinely change the course of their lives for generations to come through the noble endeavor of education.
Additionally, since returning from service, Rooney has been elected to the PGA of America and has created an annual event, Patriot Golf Day, with the support of the PGA and USGA. At 5,000 participating courses nationwide, golfers are asked for one extra dollar to be added to their green fees. In two years, this effort has raised over $3 million dollars to help educate family members of fallen or disabled veterans.
Through this foundation, Rooney has forged a relationship with UCF Athletics and UCF's Reserve Officers' Training Crops (ROTC) and members of the ROTC will be collecting donations before the game on Sunday.
Seats are still available for Sunday night's tilt with Marshall, a crucial one for both teams in the jumbled Conference USA East Division standings. To purchase and donate a ticket for a community hero fans can either visit UCFAthletics.com, or call the UCF Athletic Ticket office at (407) 823-1000.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.