15th annual Tee It Up for the Troops event

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(ABC 6 News) – The 15th annual Tee It Up for the Troops event was held Thursday at Willow Creek Golf Club in Rochester.

Over the 15 years the event has been held in Rochester, $1 million has been raised. That money goes to other veteran non-profits to serve veterans and their families in Rochester and throughout the country.

The event kicked off with former Navy SEALs parachuting from a plane onto the greens.

"It’s always fun to do and being able to jump for events like this is just that much more special for us," former Navy SEAL and member of the Patriot Parachute Team, Isaian Maring, said.

"Golf you know is really the platform, but the mission is really to give back to those who have served and sacrificed and continue to put themselves in harm’s way for our freedom," President and Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops Tim Wegscheid said.

The event started in the Twin Cities area and has now been in Rochester for years to give back to the men and women in the area who served our country.

"The community of Rochester has responded in a huge way for 15 years," Wegscheid said.

Hundreds from the community stepped up to the tee to provide financial support for our veterans.

"We have about 60 different Tee It Up for the Troops events across the country each year, this is clearly one of the best. The ceremony is phenomenal, the support from the community is unbelievable and we just couldn’t ask for anything more from this great community," Wegscheid said.

Nearly 2,000 American flags flew on the golf course, put up by volunteers.

"We do these events all the time, but I have never seen so many American flags as I’ve seen at this event and so that just adds a nice touch and I don’t know if it reflects the patriotism of everyone here, but it’s a fantastic touch," another former Navy SEAL and member of the Patriot Parachute Team said.

While the golfers hit the links, Wegscheid hopes they will take a moment on the tee box to think about the men and women currently protecting our country, especially those in Afghanistan right now and across the world.

Eight World War II veterans were honored and in attendance and eight Gold Star Families, those who have lost a loved one through active duty service in the military, were also honored on Thursday.

The event finished up with dinner and raffle drawings.