In Kansas City, Roger Buford first met Major Rooney at Indian Hills Country Club in 2012. Later, in 2013 at the
annual Medtrak Folds of Honor event, he met Major Pulido. Impressed by both men’s stories and the mission of Folds of Honor, Roger decided to start a fundraiser at La Quinta Country Club in California where he was then President.
The event was scheduled for March 5, 2014 but just weeks before, Roger was diagnosed with cancer. He refused to let his illness slow down plans for La Quinta, however, and in the midst of treatment and surgery that February, he enlisted the help of his son, Rhett Buford, and the Kansas City Folds of Honor chapter president and national board member, Larry Pfeiffer. Together they pulled off a successful first year event and sparked a passion for Folds of Honor among the membership at La Quinta that has continued to grow. Over the years, many PGA and Champions Tour players have attended the tournament in addition to well-known celebrities like Clint Eastwood.
This year’s event on March 12, 2019 marked the sixth annual La Quinta tournament which has now raised over $1.2 million for Folds of Honor! Past speakers and their children returned for the Red, White and Blue celebration, including Colleen Katzenberger, Lisa Hallett, Wesley Bauguess, and Kelli Campbell. Major Dan delivered a moving presentation and Major Ed provided his much loved “Hooah!” firing up the crowd for a record-breaking year.
As a community, members of La Quinta Country Club have made Folds of Honor their preferred charity. Many have developed personal relationships with recipients and speakers, hosting them in their homes during the event. Folds of Honor shirts and hats are a common site on the course, and after this year, there will be two new Folds of Honor branded golf carts driving around as well!
Thanks to Roger Buford’s leadership and passion, La Quinta Country Club now exemplifies what it means to be a part of the Folds of Honor family. The Kansas City chapter and the many recipient families touched by their generosity are forever grateful for their love and support.