Golf tournament held in honor of fallen valley soldiers, proceeds help local veterans

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- November 11th is Veterans Day and many families here in the Central Valley will be honoring those who have served by taking part in the Hubbard Baro Golf Tournament.

Jared Hubbard and Jeremiah Baro graduated from Buchanan High School in Clovis. They joined the marines shortly after graduation. The two men died in 2004 while serving together in Iraq. Three years later, Jared's younger brother, Nathan, also died in Iraq while serving for the army.

The money raised from a golf tournament in their honor directly helps veterans here in the Central Valley. For Robert Jones, a veteran who served in Korea and Vietnam, using new, updated equipment for his physical therapy treatments is key. Jones says, "You've got to keep up with the stuff. Everybody uses it every day. It wears out, you know, and you have to replace it just for replacement and the newer stuff is a lot better. It does more for you."

Last year the Hubbard Baro Golf Tournament raised $30,000 and helped the VA purchase new equipment for its physical therapy room. Robert Jones says, "I think it's great. I mean, look at me here. It's helping me a lot. This is only my third visit and I'm already getting better."

The Hubbard Baro Golf Tournament began after the devastation of losing brothers Jared and Nathan Hubbard, and their friend Jeremiah Baro. The tragedy that hit two Clovis families inspired friends of the fallen soldiers to start a yearly golf tournament on Veteran's Day. Over the years it has gained momentum, and now provides substantial funding for the VA Central California Healthcare System in Central Fresno. Organizer Austin Brock says, "It's our way of giving back. There's plenty of lives that have been lost and plenty who come back with medical needs whether mental or physical - everything. And whatever we can do to help them out."

Brock, a close friend of Jeremiah and Jared, says seeing local veterans getting help from the money they've raised is the ultimate honor for Baro and the Hubbard brothers. Mike Der Manouel agrees. Der Manouel says, "To see people use this facility is very gratifying and heart-warming."

So far, the Hubbard Baro Golf Tournament has raised $220,000 for Fresno's VA hospital. Employees there say the money has gone to good use, even beyond the physical therapy equipment. Cenethea Lofbom, Public Affairs Chief for VA Central California Health Care System, said, "We've been able to do education materials for PTSD patients and their families and anything that improves the overall well being for our veterans."

The Hubbard Baro Golf Tournament kicks off at 11:30 at the Fort Washington Golf Course.
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