The weather was perfect Saturday when golfers from greater Knoxville descended on Tanasi Golf Course for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12135 golf tournament.

The tournament was a first for the organization.

“We’re raising funds for veterans that we’re helping that are in need right now,” Dennis Drake, VFW Post 12135 public information officer, said. “It’s a new program we’re going through. We’re identifying local veterans so we can reach out to the them through the county VFW. Part of it was we have a committee that does research on fundraisers, and we came up with two fundraisers this year. The first one was the pickleball tournament we had earlier this year, and this is the second one.”

Jim Stailing and his wife, Corrina, enjoyed playing in the tournament.

“It was just a great setup,” Jim said. “We had a whole lot of fun. It was just easy golf. It was just go out and do what you can. Usually, you shoot better when you do that.”

The Stailings are strong supporters of the U.S. military and are more than willing for an opportunity to give back to local veterans.

“It just means to help out our veterans, which is extremely important to myself and my wife,” Jim said. “We do everything we can with the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, Wounded Warriors, so anything to do with the military we’re here to support.”

Drake believes the tournament was a success and should yield a desirable amount of money that will be allocated for future VFW events and programs.

An amount raised could not be determined by The Connection presstime.

“This is just to augment funds to help veterans,” he said. “The only other thing we have is the Buddy Poppy drive twice a year, and that goes into a specific fund to help veterans only — it can’t be used for anything else. This fund money we’re going to use now will go to help veterans also, but it won’t be as restrictive as the relief fund is, as far as how we donate the money. We’re looking into programs to where we can turn around and help existing programs that are out there. We have a committee that’s looking into that right now.”

The VFW is getting set to host its sixth annual Boat Rides 4 Vets event Saturday at WindRiver, where veterans and their families will be treated to free boat rides, fishing and other water activities on Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes.

James Jorgensen, VFW Post 12135 adjutant, put in many hours of work to ensure this year’s event is a success.

“A veteran or his family, active duty, National Guard, reserve or an old guy like me, they can come out,” Jorgensen said. “They can spend a whole day on the water, no charge. They can spend an hour, half a day, a whole day — whatever they want. We’ll have fishing boats out there so if they want to fish, they can fish. If they have families that want to go tubing, we’ve got that covered. If they just want to cruise either Fort Loudoun or Tellico lakes, they can do that. It’s just a real, real fun day.”