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Great time at the Travis Manion Foundation Memorial Golf Tournament

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On Monday we attended the Travis Manion Foundation Memorial Golf Tournament held in Mission Viejo, CA. This is our third straight year attending and and sponsoring the event and it's great to see it continue to grow each time around. They opted to move it from San Diego to Orange County this year which helped to bring in some more TMF supporters from the OC (obligatory Arrested Development joke) and the LA area. 

The day started with teams of four teeing off for a "best ball" style golf tournament, with the winning team turning in a scorching 54 and earning some limited-edition golf gear as a result. We arrived as golf was wrapping up and just in time to see the ball drop from a helicopter to the 18th green (click here to see the video), with one lucky ball landing in the hole and netting the owner an all-expenses paid trip to Kauai. With 500+ balls sold at $20 each, that equals a lot of money left over to support the Foundation's mission. 

Following a silent auction and cocktail hour, the formal part of the evening kicked off with remarks from Colonel Tom Manion, USMC (ret.), Travis's father and the current Chairman Emeritus of the Foundation. He shared some stories about Travis from his childhood all the way through his second Iraq deployment and tragic death in April of 2007. Tom and his deceased wife Janet were truly the driving force behind the Foundation and setting its course from the start and his passion for spreading the "If Not Me, Then Who..." message across the country is contagious. 

Mike Savery, a graduate of TMF's MAP-V Program, then spoke about his experiences transitioning out of the Navy after 13 years of active duty service only to encounter difficulties finding a job that matched his skill sets. Fortunately for Mike he learned about TMF and MAP-V before the struggles went on for too long, and through that program he was able to market his skills to the right companies and secure a fulfilling career in San Diego on the heels of his Foundation-funded internship. If you're looking for a great example of a charity doing truly meaningful work for those who need it, it's hard to top the MAP-V Program. 

The keynote speaker then made his way to the stage -- no introduction I can give would do him justice, so I'd recommend watching this video for a primer on Kyle Maynard.

Kyle makes his living these days as an author, gym owner, and motivational speaker, and spoke about how his history of overcoming hardship was built from the earliest days of his life -- his parents never allowed him to feel sorry for himself and never gave him anything on a platter. By forcing him to struggle to do everything for himself, even if it took him an hour to get dressed or eat lunch, they imbued Kyle with the understanding that nothing in his life would ever come easy. 

But the grit and tenacity he developed as a kid has carried him through everything he's accomplished up to this day, and when Jimi Letchford (member of both TMF and CrossFit HQ teams) reached out to him about speaking at the event he agreed instantly. Kyle talked about how he read up on TMF and was instantly drawn to the "If Not Me, Then Who" ethos embodied by Travis and the Foundation, and knew that its values and mentality fell in line with his own. It was clear that Kyle was as honored by the invitation to speak as we were for the chance to hear from him, and he made time for small talk and photos with every guest who wanted to meet him. 

We were thrilled to support the event once again with our "Fallen Hero" keychain bottle openers distributed to all guests -- each keychain featured the TMF logo on the front and the name of a fallen hero on the back. This year we honored the following 17 heroes:

Travis Manion

Brendan Looney

David Warsen

Christopher Mosko

Glen Doherty

Mario Carazo

Christian Pike

Patrick Feeks

Kenneth E. Necochea Jr.

Landon Jones

Shane Patton

Jonathan Barger

Julian Ortiz

Nicholas Spehar

J.P. Blecksmith

Doug Zembiec

Richard Waller


As always, you can see our TMF branded products here -- and 40% from each sale goes straight to the Foundation.

And don't forget to register for your local 9/11 Heroes Run!


  • Travis Manion Foundation

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