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Executive Director's Message

Dear Community Champion,  

I hope that you and your loved ones had a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving break. Today, we celebrate Giving Tuesday, where people around the world come together by sharing acts of kindness and supporting communities and causes.  

Giving comes in so many forms, but as I write this letter to all of you – THE PLAYERS Championship’s year-round advocates and supporters – I give you thanks on behalf of our entire team at THE PLAYERS. Giving back to the community has been at the heart of this championship since our inception, and that stems from the philanthropic and compassionate spirit that pervades our northeast Florida home.  

On November 19, THE PLAYERS joined other community leaders, organizations and partners at the ribbon cutting for the new UF Health Jacksonville Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., Brain Wellness Program (see charity spotlight below), a transformative program that will help veterans suffering from the invisible wounds of war. During the ceremony, we announced a $1 million donation to support the program’s efforts and services.  

The launch of this Haley Brain Wellness Program is an incredible example of the entire community coming together to serve those who served us. THE PLAYERS’ donation to the program simply wouldn’t have been possible without you. Whether you’re a fan, volunteer, hospitality partner, civic or business leader or media member, each of you contributes to the charitable impact we have on the five-county area by engaging and participating in our championship.   

So, we thank you...for being champions in our community, for pushing us to direct our investments where they are most needed and for joining us in our mission to positively impact lives in our community, 365 days a year.  


Jared Rice  

Executive Director, THE PLAYERS 

Charity Spotlight: UF Health Jacksonville Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., Brain Wellness Program 

During their time on the battlefield, about 900,000 servicemen and servicewomen develop symptoms consistent with, or are diagnosed with, post-traumatic stress, or PTS. These conditions contribute to a suicide rate of more than 20 veterans per day, a figure that has increased every year since 2002.  

The invisible wounds of war are plaguing the lives of veteran men and women at increasingly alarming rates across the country, but especially in Northeast Florida, home to one of the largest military and veteran populations in the U.S. The community where THE PLAYERS is held is the same community where one military member is committing suicide per day, according to data averages.  

On Friday, November 19, a new program officially opened less than 30 miles from THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass that will help veterans as they recover from the medical issues and invisible wounds related to their service. 

The new UF Health Jacksonville Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., Brain Wellness Program will provide transformative care to veterans and first responders experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, depression, anxiety and substance use disorder. 

During the ribbon cutting ceremony for the program, THE PLAYERS announced a $1 million commitment to support the program’s efforts and provide naming rights to the center’s lobby (THE PLAYERS Lobby) as well as its K9s kennel (THE PLAYERS Kennel).

Click the image below to watch a video about the announcement. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Tom Hyde  

This month's employee spotlight is Tom Hyde, who will be serving as the Assistant Chair of the Media Center for the 2022 Championship, which marks his 17th year as a volunteer with THE PLAYERS. Tom is an Army veteran, where he courageously served for nine years. Currently, Tom works at Baptist South as Lead House Supervisor. Let's learn more about Tom in this Q&A (he is third from left in the below photo).

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was raised in a military family and grew up all over the world: kindergarten in Germany, elementary school in California, middle school in Okinawa, and high school in Fayetteville/Fort Bragg, North Carolina. My love of golf started early, and I played at military courses starting in Japan, and I also played on my high school golf team. I received my degree in Marine Biology from UNC-Wilmington and as part of the ROTC program was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. I’ve been married to my awesome and lovely wife Heather for 23 years and have 3 children, Kirsten, Kylie, and Tommy. Heather and I currently live in South Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. 


Tell us about your military service. 
While in the Army I attended Flight School and the Maintenance Test Pilot course and flew UH-1 Hueys and UH-60 Blackhawks as an Army Aviator and Maintenance Officer. I served and flew in numerous places: Alabama, Washington, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Nevada, California, Egypt, Israel, Honduras, Colombia and Panama. As a Captain, I had a Combat Command during Operation Just Cause and flew numerous combat missions in support of our troops.


What is one of the biggest life lessons you learned during your time in the Army?
The military taught me about diversity, discipline, equality, preparation, planning and the importance of training how you expect to perform when under stress. I served a little over 9 years before I was involved in a Helicopter crash, when I was badly injured and consequently had to leave the service. 

When did you become a nurse, and when did you first get involved as a volunteer at THE PLAYERS?

My wife and I own and operate the Avis and Budget Rent a Car in the Orange Park Mall, and after working together for many years I decided I wanted to give back to the community and become a nurse. This is also where I was recruited to volunteer for THE PLAYERS by Al Herndon, Assistant Chair, Media Center. He was one of our customers and thought I would enjoy volunteering. He was correct, and this will be my 17th year in the Media Center.

As a nurse, after many years in the Emergency Department, my current job is Lead House Supervisor at Baptist South. I now get to help run the Hospital as part of the Leadership team. Compassion, diversity, equality and teamwork are some of the values that have shaped me as a nurse and carry over from my military service. I’m also involved with Baptist Health’s VAST (Veterans Assistance and Support Team) program, which helps newly separated veterans who are employed at Baptist to transition from Military to Civilian service. This helps actively recruit and retain veterans across all positions at Baptist Health. 


What is your favorite memory as a PLAYERS volunteer?
I love the people at THE PLAYERS and the friendships I’ve made over the years. Giving back to the community and still being able to be around the game I love makes it exciting to come back every year. One of my favorite and fun memories was getting to drive the 2018 winner, Webb Simpson, and his wife around after the tournament to all his interviews. As we were finishing up and heading back to the clubhouse, we started toward 18 when all the sprinklers came on, creating quite the scene. We made it back only a little wet. I will definitely be coming back again as the Assistant Chair of the Media Center and look forward to again working with the great professionals in the TOUR's Communications Department. I also have had the pleasure of working for and with Emily Tillo who has done and continues to do amazing and wonderful things with both the TOUR and the Tournament! 

Beyond the Ropes
THE PLAYERS’ impact extends far beyond the rope lines and well past the moment when THE PLAYERS champion sinks the winning putt. Learn more about our year-round commitment to being good stewards in our northeast Florida community.
Red Coats surprise Northeast Florida Women Veterans during Thanksgiving luncheon 
According to data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau, women veterans are the fastest-growing population of veterans, yet they are also the fastest-growing segment of homeless veterans and have a higher unemployment rate, lower median income and are more likely to live below the poverty line than male veterans. 

In Northeast Florida, one organization is leading efforts to ensure that women who have served on active duty, National Guard or Reserves and their children transition into the civilian community with the tools they need to become self-sufficient.   

Northeast Florida Women Veterans was founded in 2012 by Retired U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Deloris "Dee" Quaranta, who responded to the needs of women veterans in Northeast Florida. The organization works to ensure that each female veteran has a voice and excels beyond her expectations.  

During Northeast Florida Women Veterans' annual Thanksgiving luncheon, 2022 Tournament Chairman Matt Welch and 2016 Chairman Michele McManamon surprised Quaranta and her team with a $2,500 donation. The contribution will support its Operation Hand Up program, which provides non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items for women veterans who are experiencing homelessness, in addition to supportive services for at-risk women veterans. 
News to Know

Military and veteran tickets for THE PLAYERS 2022 – coming soon! 
As shared in a recent ticket announcement (click here to read), THE PLAYERS will have a ticket allotment for military and veterans. These tickets will be available by February 2022, when THE PLAYERS debuts a new, streamlined verification and transaction experience specifically for military and veterans. More details can be found at THE PLAYERS’ Ticket FAQ page. 

Chip In For Charity and Birdies for Charity launch on December 15 
THE PLAYERS issued a press release today (click here to read) announcing two charitable programs that will support the fundraising goals of nonprofit organizations in the five-county area. Registration for charities interested in participating in the Chip In For Charity and Birdies for Charity programs begins on Wednesday, December 1, and both programs launch on Wednesday, December 15.   

Volunteer positions still available 
While THE PLAYERS is very close to filling up all volunteer committees, we still have openings in several committees, including 16 green hospitality and Patriots’ Outpost. Visit for more information and to register.  
Quick Nine
The "Quick Nine" video series introduces you to a different member of THE PLAYERS team each month. Click the image below to learn more about Brett Elgin, an Operations Specialist on our team!
Photos of the Month
2022 Tournament Chairman Matt Welch and Rethreaded Founder and CEO Kristin Keen at the organization’s grand opening of its new campus. THE PLAYERS Red Coats contributed $10,000 to the organization towards its matching grant challenge.  
Members of the six employee resource groups at the PGA TOUR donated more than 120 Thanksgiving baskets to four local organizations who are charitable beneficiaries of THE PLAYERS: Youth Crisis Center, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, Angelwood and the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation. 

©2021 THE PLAYERS Championship, PGA TOUR, All rights reserved.

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