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Once again Swings For Soldiers delivers in a big way thanks to Tammes, sponsors, players (Photos by Larry Vaught)

Sarah Matthews holds the flag before the start of Monday’s golf. Her father, Chase Matthews, is a former recipient of a new home. (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON — Certainly there are some new players and sponsors each year at the Swings For Soldiers Classic hosted by Allison and Jacob Tamme but there are many, many players who seem to play in this fundraising event every year — and probably always will.

This golf scramble raises money each year to build a specially equipped home for a wounded veteran. This year’s recipient is LCPL Joseph Woodke of Franklin, TN. The Marine Corporal stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and lost both legs while also suffering damage to his right ear.

He was not at the University Club in Lexington Monday for the event, though, because he was trying out for the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.

This was the 10th annual event and the first nine raised over $1 million to build homes. No doubt this year’s event will be big financially, too, with the sponsors, playing fees, silent auctions and extra gimmicks to raise money.

Kentucky assistant basketball coach John Robic played golf again. So did UK receivers coach Michael Smith. UK assistant coaches Dean Hood and John Schlarman didn’t play golf, but they were there. New UK football staff member Mark Perry was there to play golf.

Former UK football players Dusty Bonner, Jeremy Harmon, Morgan Newton, Jordan Aumiller, Trevard Lindley and Art Still played — and those were just the players I saw. Same with basketball All-American Mike Pratt and his UK Radio Network buddy Tom Leach.

Most of the past recipients of new homes coordinated through Homes for Our Troops also come back along with their families. Several play in the golf scramble.

I just enjoy being there to see the smiles, generosity of so many and love that the Tamme’s and their family members and other volunteers pour into this event coordinated by Amanda Zachary and Julia Tabb Leggett.

Here’s a few photos I got — even though I will quickly acknowledge they don’t start to do justice to just what this day is all about.

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