7th annual veteran's charity golf tournament teeing off

May 1—A charity golf tournament benefitting veteran's and their families is preparing to tee off for the 7th time next weekend at Encanterra Country Club in Queen Creek.

Driving 4 Veterans, hosted by the Veterans Club at Encanterra, is preparing to host its annual event Saturday, May 4. The tournament is coming off its most profitable charity event to date, raising over $100,000 for veterans, their families and various other scholarships and funds in 2023.

Kevin Rooney, a baseball player by trade who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, said the event is unique in how it serves the community and brings the various branches of military together for a good cause.

"It is a brotherhood, it is a sisterhood," Rooney said. "You have to have their back if someone needs help. You need to be there. We're trying to help the people. We kid around about the Army and the Navy. But when push comes to shove, we would all die for each other."

To date, the club has managed to raise over $330,000 from the charity events. Those funds have gone to various partners the Veterans Club supports, including HOHP — Honoring/Helping Our Heroes of Piano County — Veterans First LTD, Honor Flight AZ and a scholarship fund for veterans and their families to Central Arizona College.

Rooney said it's important to also remember families of veterans, as they serve, too. They are the ones forced to be without loved ones for an extended period.

So, Rooney and the Veterans Club started the Central Arizona Scholarship fund. He said to date, many family members who have benefitted from the scholarship have gone on to continue serving the community.

The scholarship also serves homeless veterans who have gone through a transitional center for Arizona veterans, located a stone's throw away from the school.

"We thought we could take a guy or gal through the transitional center and then offer them a scholarship," Rooney said. "Not only do you have the academic aspect, you also have auto mechanics, hotel management, all sorts of programs. The transitional house is just getting started, but we've offered it to veterans or spouses of veterans."

The charity event will feature numerous other amenities outside of the golf tournament. A putting contest will be held where winners are guaranteed.

The club will utilize a ball launcher for prizes, as well as a drone golf ball drop, move up dart board, a beat the pro competition and heartfelt "hug a marine" event, too.

Registration for the event begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. Rooney expects multiple media outlets to attend, and hopes to secure appearance by local professional athletes, too. At 8:30 a.m., the charity tournament will have a flyover, followed by the shotgun start at 9 a.m.

Lunch, awards, a raffle and silent auction will also take place at Encanterra Country Club for the event.

"We're going to have many different things there," Rooney said.

For more information, including a link to donate to the Veterans Club, visit

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at (480)898-5630 or Follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira.