Golf outing to benefit all-volunteer veterans group

Golf outing to benefit all-volunteer veterans group

The June 16 golf outing is expected to fill up quickly. You can sign up for a sponsorship or to play with a large or small group.


Save22 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the rate of suicides among two groups who are at risk: veterans and first responders. A golf outing to raise funds for the group is set for June 16 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Quarry Golf Club in Canton.

“This is our third year for the golf outing,” said Albert Woodin, a founder and organizer of Save22. “We started with veterans and found that they and first responders were forming some real bonds on the course. They reported afterward how much they enjoyed it.”

Save22 began eight years ago to prevent suicides among military veterans. “Then we found that vets and first responders experienced similar kinds of stress,” Woodin said.

Conversations among others interested in aiding veterans led to the creation of Save22.

The groups are especially vulnerable; statistics kept by the department of veterans affairs show 22 vets take their lives in the United States each day.

“You can give someone a call who is struggling,” Woodin said. “You have a conversation and you try to help them see more clearly. It’s a cool thing to see happen.”

Save22 sponsors an annual hike that is well attended. “The first hike saw more than 1,300 people come out. We were amazed at the turnout,” Woodin said.

Hikes normally see at least 1,000 participants each year since that first outing, Woodin said.

The suicide rate among veterans and first responders has remained consistent over the years. Woodin said a combination of factors are at play.

“The transition back to civilian life can be very difficult. While they’re serving, there is constant movement. They’re always in motion, always on the go. They see things that are unspeakable. How do you talk about these things with a spouse or friend who doesn’t share those experiences? You can be afraid to even admit that you’re struggling. You don’t want people to think there’s something wrong with you. So you bury it. That’s a big part of it — feeling like there is no one to talk to who might be able to understand and who won’t think you’re crazy,” Woodin said.

The June 16 golf outing is expected to fill up quickly. “You can sign up for a sponsorship or to play with a large or small group,” Woodin said.

According to, the group’s website, the organization is an all-volunteer workforce funded by donations, grants and merchandise sales. All proceeds go directly to programs that aim to support veterans, active duty and first responders. The veterans suicide hotline is at 800-273-8255.

“We try to create events where vets and first responders can get out of themselves for a while and enjoy the company of others,” Woodin said. “The hikes, golf outings and other events really do help and are well-attended.”

There are fishing, art and motorsport events planned in addition to hikes and golf.

“Save22 is an organization which stands shoulder to shoulder with the men and women who have served our country and the communities within,” according to the group’s website information. “We listen to their stories and remind them that they are never alone or forgotten. When they are struggling with the demons of their past, we support and guide them to healing. Not all wounds are physical, and when the pain of those wounds becomes overwhelming, we step in to help in any way we can.”

The golf outing will feature a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. Registration is available at the website under upcoming events. The Quarry Golf Club & Venue is at 5650 Quarry Lake Drive SE in Canton.

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