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Jun. 30, 2022 – Golf clubs for Air Force Veteran and Future Mom of Two

On Thursday afternoon we met US Air Force Veteran Erica Miller. She joined on her 19th birthday in 2008. She was security forces and received Yankee White Clearance to do presidential security. She was stationed in Germany and deployed to Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. After separating the Air Force in 2012, Erica used her GI bill and attended Texas A&M University. She currently works for the Department of Labor as a claims examiner. Her husband Ryan, who already loves and plays golf, served with distinction in the US Navy for eleven years and was selected as the Naval Air Training Instructor of the Year and Flag Aide in Pensacola, serving two Admirals for the Naval Education and Training Command.

When we gave Erica her golf club set, she shared with us that she is expecting her second child. Nevertheless, she is starting golf lessons on Saturday and will continue to play until the “baby bump” allows it. With tears in her eyes, she thanked us for what we do for military veterans. We told her, as we have said before, we are simply giving her something she already earned.

We salute Erica for her service to our nation and hope to see her beat her husband Ryan at a round of golf very soon!

Thank you to our sponsors to making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, Millennium Physician Group, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and FCBI Fund. If you want to support our mission, click here.


Jun. 27, 2022 – Golf Clubs & Lessons for Marines Vet

After our milestone celebration on Monday, we met US Marines Veteran James Watkins for his first lesson at TPG. He enlisted on September 11th, 2004. He was a Crash Fire Rescue Specialist in Iwakuni, Japan. He also served as a Rescue Technician at CBIRF in Indian Head, MD. James was planning on re-enlisting when was injured during a training operation. He’s had five knee surgeries since and was Honorable Discharged after five years of faithful service. In his own words: “The good side of me getting injured was meeting my wife, who was a medic in the Air Force. We have been married 13 years and our 11 year-old son loves golf and wants me to play with him.

We salute James for his service to our nation, and to honor him, we will provide lessons not just for him, but also for his young son. We want both of them to share the love of golf for many years to come.

Thank you to our sponsors to making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, Millennium Physician Group, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and FCBI Fund. If you want to support our mission, click here.


Jun. 27, 2022 – Milestone Celebration

Today, we had a small celebration. Since 2021, The Zellner Foundation for Military Vets has provided golf clubs and golf lessons for 20 veterans from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Although not all the veterans were able to attend, we made sure to have fun for them. Thank you to our supporters who came out to share the incredible bond golf provides. Our mission to empower disabled and PTSD diagnosed military veterans to improve their mental health through the beautiful game of golf on the First Coast of Florida is unstoppable!

Thank you to our sponsors to making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, Millennium Physician Group, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and FCBI Fund. If you want to support our mission, click here.


Jun. 1, 2022 – Shop Subtle Patriot with Promo Code ZELLNERSUPPORT Until the end of June


May 18, 2022 – Busy Wednesday with Wonder Women

Wednesday was another day like we like it: BUSY!

First, we had the honor to meet Logistics Officer Sharon Burns, U.S. Army retired, who served nearly 28 years and deployed on three combat tours. She is married with one grown son, two dogs and one cat. She loves supporting warfighters and emergency first responders, whether working alongside them or behind the scenes. Her volunteer work includes donating her time as the Secretary for a non-profit charity, the Defense Acquisition Professionals Alumni Association (DAP AA) Jacksonville Chapter and The Mission Continues-Jacksonville.

Then at 7 p.m. we had the pleasure to meet Navy Veteran, Joy Elliott and her sweet mom, Kim. Joy joined the Navy in 2005. Completed Aviation Ordinance “A” school in Pensacola, FL. She was stationed at NAS Brunswick in Brunswick, ME for three years in a P-3 squadron VP-8. She completed two six-months deployments to the Middle East in 2006 and 2008. She finished out her service at NAS Jacksonville after her squadron was moved in 2009. Joy was honorably discharged in 2010.

We salute Joy and Sharon for their service to our country and for taking on the challenge of golf. Watch out boys, here they come!

Thank you to our sponsors to making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, Millennium Physician Group, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and FCBI Fund. Special thanks to Rhonda Ferguson, Senior Certified Instructor at PGA Tour Golf Academy, for her kindness and amazing coaching.

If you want to support our mission, click here.


May 17, 2022 – Busy Tuesday with Army Veterans

We had a busy Tuesday! In the morning, we had the pleasure to give Sergeant Major Richard Deleon, U.S. Army retired, a set of golf clubs to replace his very used ones, and a new Subtle Patriot bag. He started his lessons last week. Richard enlisted in October 1988 as a Calvary Scout. He trained and led soldiers in combat as a Sergeant and First Sergeant. Later he prepared young aspiring officers as the Senior Military Leadership Instructor at the University of Richmond, VA. He is a recipient of both the Order of Saint George and the Order of Saint Maurice. He describes himself as a loving husband of 30 years, father of two amazing men, and grandfather of one little girl.

Then, in the afternoon, we met Sgt. Eric Trinidad-Pérez and awarded him his new gear and first golf lesson. He is a native from Naguabo, Puerto Rico, and joined the U.S. Army in 2002 after 9/11. He served in the Operation Iraqui Freedom III, earning Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, and Iraqi Campaign Medal, among others. After his military service, Sgt. Trinidad continued to serve his fellow veterans as a veteran service officer for the state of Connecticut eight years, and four years as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the Veterans Hospital in CT and NC. Even though he is legally blind due to a traumatic brain injury, he was an incredible student, according to Jim Houston, PGA and GM at The Golf Club at South Hampton. Quoting Eric, he wants other veterans “to be inspired so they can motivate themselves.”

We salute Eric and Richard for their courageous service to our nation. Thank you to our sponsors to making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, Millennium Physician Group, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and FCBI Fund.

If you want to support our mission, click here.


May 2, 2022 – Subtle Patriot Golf Bags Donation

“It takes a village” to extend the reach of our mission, but with the generosity of brands like Subtle Patriot everything seems a little easier. The Zellner Foundation was honored to receive three new Subtle Patriot golf bags at the Edwin Watts store in Jacksonville, FL last Monday. These bags will be awarded to the military veterans in line to start their golf lessons.

If you want to support the Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Vets visit zellnerfoundation.com/donate


May 1, 2022 – One of our Veteran Golfers Wins at VGA Tournament at The Palencia Club

Joshua Ray, U.S. Air Force Veteran, is one of the first military veterans we met in 2020. Initially he only participated as a guest of our charity golf tournaments, but as time passed, he opened up and shared with us some of the life changing experiences he had during his service.

As our friendship grew, Joshua felt confident to ask for help last December. He didn’t need golf clubs because he been a golfer before the military. What he needed was a sponsorship to pay the fees at the competitive league Veteran Golfers Association. In addition to that, we paid for some tunning golf lessons.

Since January 2022, Josh has played seven tournaments on the First Coast, finishing always in the top five, but he wanted more. Last Sunday, May 1st, he accomplished his first victory at The Palencia Club. This win earned him a spot at the state competition, which is set to start on July 23. Out of 9,100 members, Josh is currently ranked 61st in the state and 181st nationally.

In his own words: “Golf is the best medicine you could possibly have. It is better than any prescription or drug a doctor can give. It is the one place where I can go to clear my head. I don’t have any worries whatsoever. It is just me focusing on hitting the next shot. That is what I love about golf.

We are honored to support Josh’s determination to improve, and to witness the impact of golf on his PTSD management and overall mental health.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors for making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, FCBI Fund, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and Millennium Physician Group.

If you want to support the Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Vets visit zellnerfoundation.com/donate


Apr. 8, 2022 – Golf Clubs for U.S. Navy and California National Guard Veteran

Today, we had the pleasure to meet Leslie J de la Serna to gift him a brand-new golf bag and a set of donated clubs. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1993 and reserves from 1993 to 1997. He eventually went back to active duty from 1999 to 2004, and later joined the California National Guard from 2007 to 2015. He retired as a Sergeant. Leslie told our President, Xiomara Spadafora, during their meet and greet, that he knew about our mission, but didn’t feel comfortable reaching out. So, we did because anything we can give him, he has already earned. The Zellner Foundation salutes Leslie for his never-ending desire to serve our nation and wish him many rounds of great golf.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors for making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, FCBI Fund, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and Millennium Physician Group. If you want to support the Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Vets visit zellnerfoundation.com/donate


Jan. 24, 2022 – ZF Qualified for THE PLAYERS Chip in For Charity


Jan. 12, 2022 – Golf Clubs and Lessons for U.S. Army Veteran

This morning we welcomed Daryl Pratt at South Hampton for his first golf lesson. His golf clubs were donated to us by a fellow military veteran. Daryl served in the U.S. Army as a signals analyst/collector from 2007 to 2016. He deployed to Afghanistan twice. The first time in 2011 with the Joint Special Operations Command, and then again between 2012 and 2103 with the 101st Airborne Division. He was medically retired in 2016. We salute Daryl for his service and wish him to maintain his contagious enthusiasm for golf.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors for making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, FCBI Fund, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and Millennium Physician Group. If you want to support the Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Vets visit zellnerfoundation.com/donate


Dec. 9, 2021 – Golf Clubs and Lessons for U.S. Airforce Veteran

Yesterday we had the pleasure to host Bradley Priester at The Golf Club at South Hampton for the first of his three lessons with Kris Smith, Head Coach Pro. We had already given him his golf clubs a month ago. Bradley joined the U.S. Air Force at 18 and became an Aerospace Ground Equipment Technician. Five years later, he became ill with an extremely rare auto immune disease called henoch schonlein purpura. He suffered kidney failure, an induced coma, and spent several months in the hospital and inpatient rehab. As the disease progressed, his legs stopped bending due to myositis. The Air Force medically retired Brad 100 percent service connected. Heartbroken, as he loved being part of the Air Force, he endured a kidney transplant two years ago, but also found love and happiness. He married in 2007 and has three beautiful children. We salute Brad, not only for his service to our nation, but for his courage and perseverance. He is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and an inspiration to all who meet him because of his kindness.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors for making this possible: Zellner Insurance Agency, FCBI Fund, Guardian Fueling Technologies, and Millennium Physician Group. If you want to support the Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Vets visit zellnerfoundation.com/donate


Nov. 30, 2021 – #GivingTuesday2021

We had a very busy #GivingTuesday2021. In the morning, we surprised Hilda Alexander with her new set of golf clubs and the first of three golf lessons with Paul Powers, the new licensed Titleist Performance Institute Instructor. She served in the United States Navy for 11.5 years as a Fire Controlman on the USS Kennedy and USS Eisenhower as a radar tech for the 48E. In Hilda’s words, this is how she found out about us: “I attended a golf event with wounded warriors and was set up with a group of people that I didn’t know to play golf with. We had a great time, and they were very kind to not take things super serious since I was a newbie. After a few holes I made mention that I wanted to come more often but didn’t have my own clubs. That particular day I had rentals. Marlit Yui-chozo (Military wife also beneficiary of the Will of Iron Golf Program) told me about the Zellner Foundation.”

Then in the afternoon, we honored Julian Lopezriano, a 24-years US Marines Veteran. Born and raised in Colombia, Julian dreamed to become a marine far away from US soil. He retired last April as an E9 Master Gunnery Sergeant. He was deployed to the middle east in 2003, 2004, and 2005, spending most of his time in Iraq. In 2011 Julian was part of “Operation Tomodachi” to support Japan in disaster relief following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. We salute Hilda and Julian for their service to our nation and their impressive military careers.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors for making this possible: Zellner Insurance, Guardian Fueling Technologies, FCBI Fund, and Millennium Physician Group. If you want to support our Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Veterans visit zellnerfoundation.com/donate


Nov. 27, 2021 – Golf Lessons for Air Force Veteran

Last Saturday, regardless of the cold morning weather, Air Force veteran, Joshua Ray, met Paul Powers, the new licensed Titleist Performance Institute instructor at TPG Golf Performance Center. Joshua served in the US Air Force from 2002 to 2006 and was deployed twice–one time to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. He was medically discharged and later medically retired. In his own words, “golf is kind of my escape and my therapy.” We salute Joshua for his service to our nation and look forward to seeing his game improvement.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors for making this possible: Zellner Insurance, Guardian Fueling Technologies, FCBI Fund, and Millennium Physician Group. If you want to support our Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Veterans click here.


Nov. 12, 2021 – Second Charity Golf Tournament

Last Friday, November 12th, 2021, 118 players joined us to celebrate our Military Veterans and to contribute to our exclusive golf program for disabled and PTSD diagnosed vets known as Will of Iron.

We want to thank all attendees for the amazing energy and kindness displayed throughout the course. Thank you to our veterans, players, volunteers, and most of all, our incredible sponsors for making this event a reality. God bless you all and see you next year!

This event was sponsored by Zellner Insurance Agency, FCBI Fund, Guardian Fueling Technologies, Bank of England, Publix, Staged to Sell Realty, SecureSI, James J McCall Dentistry, PGA Tour Superstore, Emerald Homes, BoPam International Security & Systems, IPFS, and The Golf Club at South Hampton.


Oct. 8, 2021 – New Golf Clubs and Lessons for Navy Veteran and Military Wife

On Thursday, October 8, The Zellner Foundation had the honor to present Tyrelle and Christina Hines with their new golf clubs at TPG Performance Center. They both started golf lessons, also courtesy of the foundation. Tyrelle served 20 years in the Navy as a Machinist Mate achieving the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. He served on three ships including USS Shreveport, USS Bataan, and USS Kearsarge for a combined four deployments. He met his lovely wife Christina in Jacksonville in 2016. In Tyrelle’s own words, “We fell in love and the rest is history. She is my rock! We have six children between us ranging from age 25 all the way to 11 years old. She is a hard-working selfless person whose job is to help the neediest of the Jacksonville population achieve VIP medical services.” We salute The Hines and thank them for their service. The Zellner Foundation recognizes not only the veterans, but their spouses and their children. Their sacrifice for America’s freedom is a toll they share as a family.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors for making this possible: Guardian Fueling Technologies, FCBI Fund, Millennium Physician Group, and Zellner Insurance. If you want to support our Will of Iron Golf Program for Military Veterans click here.


Sep. 10, 2021 – Welcome to Our New Platinum Sponsor for 2021-2022 – Millennium Physician Group


Aug. 31, 2021 – Publix Supermarkets Inc. is our 2021 Golf Tournament Lunch Sponsor


Aug. 27, 2021 – Bank of England Mortgage is our 2021 Golf Tournament Gold Sponsor


Aug. 3, 2021 – The 2021 ZF Golf Tourney Sponsorships Are Open!

Click here to review the sponsorship options and pay online.

Call 904-718-8301 or email zellnerfoundation@gmail.com if you want to discuss further.


Jul. 12, 2021 – New Golf Clubs for Army Female Veteran

Army Military Police Veteran, Erika Draht, joined by WWP fellow veterans. July 12, 2021 at The Golf Club South Hampton.

By Xiomara Spadafora, President and Co-Founder

On Monday July 12th, 2021, The Zellner Foundation honored its promise of providing a new set of golf clubs to eight-years Army Military Police Veteran, Erika Draht. She deployed to Iraq in 2005 and was medically retired in October 2012. Her duty stations included Germany, Ft Jackson, SC, and both Walter Reed Hospitals. We salute Erika for her service and wish her many amazing rounds of golf.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: Guardian Fueling Technologies, FCBI Fund, and Zellner Insurance. If you want to support our Will of Iron Golf Program for Veterans click here.


Jun. 22, 2021 – New Golf Clubs for Military Wife

By Xiomara Spadafora, President and Co-Founder

Last Tuesday, the Zellner Foundation had the privilege to honor Marlit Yui, a proud military wife, with a new set of golf clubs. Marlit started golfing to support her husband Leonardo in his recovery from PTSD.

Leonardo “Leo” Yui, PO1, US Navy Seabee (Ret.) served in the military for 14 years and completed multiple Iraq and Afghanistan deployments. He was medically retired due to combat injuries, and for many years, he struggled with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation.

He was recently introduced to golfing in February 2021 and also received golf clubs from the Zellner Foundation. In Leo’s words: “I have learned that golfing is simply just like your everyday struggles. Some golf games you hit the ball, straight and right into the hole, some days it doesn’t work out that way. Life is the same way. The only thing I have control of is my attitude and my actions.”

Military wives are the other heroes that stay home battling everyday life, keeping their families together.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: Guardian Fueling Technologies, FCBI Fund, and Zellner Insurance. If you want to support our mission click here.


May 20, 2021 – Welcome To Our New Platinum Sponsor for 2021-2022 – FCBI Fund


Feb. 8, 2021 – The One-Armed Golfer

By Xiomara Spadafora, President and Co-Founder

As The Zellner Foundation for Military Vets continues its quest of helping veterans find jobs on the First Coast, we are also having a little bit of fun by incorporating our golf program Will of Iron.

Exclusive for disabled and PTSD diagnosed veterans, the Will of Iron Program provides them with golf gear, lessons, and playtime free of cost. Fresh air, green scenery, and good company are one of a kind therapeutic with no side effects.

One of the beneficiaries of this program is retired Navy corpsman Gabriel George. In 2009, “Gabe” was pronounced dead at the scene of a motorcycle accident. He was leaving a bible study when a reckless driver hit him.

Two months later, he had to accept the fate of a life with a Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and losing his right arm.

A decade into recovery, facing adversity at every corner, Gabe developed his four words mantra: Vision – Discipline – Strength – Determination. This is the vehicle that keeps him rolling towards his most cherished goal: to compete at the Paralympic Games in archery.

Gabriel is known as The One Armed Archer. He is also a father, husband, avid diver, pickelballer, and cyclist. Most recently, he began golfing, and The Zellner Foundation for Military Vets is proud to sponsor his new journey as The One Armed Golfer.

Since the beginning of 2021, I have had the privilege to golf with Gabriel a couple of times. As an amateur golfer, I tend to criticize my game and think about quitting. However, watching Gabriel swing the club–with only one arm–taught me a valuable lesson: there are no excuses.

In his own words, “Life is for the living,” and Gabriel George embodies this statement fully. He is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of faith in God.

If you want to support our mission, please click here to donate.


Nov. 25, 2020 – Thankful

By Xiomara Spadafora, President and Co-Founder

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke these immortal words: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

With this in mind, The Zellner Foundation for Military Vets is thankful because despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to accomplish our goal: assisting veterans in seeking employment, as well as providing financial assistance for others less fortunate, on our first year of operations.

Thanks to our fund-raising effort during the 2020 Charity Golf Tournament, we were able to cover two months of past-due rent for Tony Rossin, Army Veteran, at the beginning of October.

We also had the opportunity to host a lunch for Veterans Day with an incredible group. The round of golf—on the same day as the 245th birthday of the United States Marine Corps—was organized by the Wounded Warrior Project and sponsored by The Golf Club at South Hampton.

During this event, my husband Jeff and I had the privilege of meeting Misty Taylor, twenty year Navy Veteran, who started playing golf as part of her PTSD therapy.

At the of our round, I asked her if she was interested in getting lessons. On November 16th, Misty had her first golf lesson with Rob Bannon—Army Veteran and owner of TPG Golf Performance Center—and her brand new set of clubs, also courtesy of The Zellner Foundation.

And the cherry to top this 2020 Thanksgiving week came Tuesday, November 24th, when we contributed with the down payment for the new car of Navy Veteran, Suzie DeLeon.

A couple of months ago, Suzie was victim of a reckless driver who caused a multiple car crash on I-95, early in the morning on her way to work. Suzie ended up in the ER and her vehicle was totaled.

2020 is a year that altered our lives in countless ways, for better or for worse. Nonetheless, at Zellner Foundation, hope has remained unwavering, and for that, we are immensely grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

If you want to support our mission, you can donate here.


Oct. 9, 2020 – First Charity Golf Tournament

When we set out to plan our first golf outing, we hoped to rally 40 players. Nonetheless, exceeding our expectations, 80 players joined us regardless of a stormy forecast last Friday at South Hampton.

As we finished the check-in process, the rain stopped, and a bright sun welcomed the players to honor our veterans. These are some of the images captured by our volunteer photographers, Diana Blanco and Marshall Waters.

Thank you once again to our amazing sponsors: Zellner Insurance Agency, Guardian Fueling Technologies, Florida Family Insurance, Bank of England Mortgage, Secure SI, Emerald Homes, Bluestar Pet Hospital, Imperial PFS, James J McCall D.D.S. P.A., TPG Golf Performance, and The Golf Club at South Hampton.

See you in 2021!

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