(MCT) When Mark Mayes started Seacliff Tee It Up for the Troops in 2012, he had an ambition to raise $100,000 for wounded military veterans.
To his surprise, the nonprofit's first charity event that year donated about $185,000 to various veteran support groups around the United States.
The Huntington Beach resident and his colleagues are continuing their efforts with the organization's third annual series of fundraising events starting Friday.
Over four days, Seacliff Tee It Up will present a concert featuring Steve Ansel and the Jackson Street Band, a two-day tennis tournament and a golf competition, all at Seacliff Country Club in Huntington Beach.
Mayes, 64, said the nonprofit has donated about $370,000 during the past two years to groups such as Vision 2 Victory, the Fisher House Foundation and the Warrior Foundation.
"We're real proud of what we've done," he said. "Everybody's affected, whether it's your uncle, father, cousins, brothers and sisters. This cause is near and dear to everybody's heart."
Mayes was not drafted into the military during the Vietnam War, but he had friends who were and fought overseas. The charity events are a way for him to honor those who died or were injured while fighting in the service of country, he said.
"I lost a few of my buddies, and some came back injured and are still hurt today," he said. "But it's just amazing at how these events are seen by Vietnam veterans as something really special, because it was a lot different when they came back from the war."
Air Force Lt. Gen. George Muellner, who helped Mayes create the nonprofit, knows of the struggles wounded veterans face every day.
As chairman of the Air Force Assn., Muellner, 69, of Huntington Beach, spends a lot of time at Veterans Affairs hospitals around the country, including Bethesda, Md., San Antonio, Texas, and Long Beach.
"There about 1,500-plus amputees and more than 50,000 wounded, in one form or another, and that's discounting post-traumatic stress disorder," he said. "The need is really great, and the type of help has changed over the years."
Muellner said the need has shifted from helping veterans recover from their injuries to helping them adjust to civilian life.
"The unemployment rate for them is about 3 points higher than the national rate," he said. "Finding them jobs and finding them employment opportunities is important."
IF YOU GO
All events at Seacliff Country Club, 6501 Palm Ave., Huntington Beach. Information: seacliffteeitup.org.
Tune It Up for the Troops
What: Concert featuring Steve Ansel and the Jackson Street Band ('60s, '70s and '80s rock), with guest comedian Mark Cordes
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday
Serve It Up for the Troops
What: Two-day tennis tournament
When: 10 a.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Sunday
Cost: $75 to play, free to attend
Tee It Up for the Troops
What: Golf tournament
When: Monday: 8:45 a.m. check-in, 11 a.m. start
Cost: $500 per player
©2014 the Huntington Beach Independent (Huntington Beach, Calif.). Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.