Tee It Up fundraiser

Mark Mayes, left, and George Muellner, pause at the SeaCliff Country Club on Monday, Aug. 18. Mayes is the chairman for the Third Annual Tee It Up For The Troops, and Muellner is chairman of the board for the Air Force Association. The two have joined forces for the annual tournament which raises money for various veterans charities. (SCOTT SMELTZER / HB Independent / August 18, 2014)

  • Related
  • Anthony Carpio Signature

  • Topics
  • Armed Forces
  • Vietnam War (1955-1975)
  • Bethesda (Montgomery, Maryland)
  • Map Maps
  • 6501 Palm Ave, Huntington Beach, CA, 92648, United States

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

Cost: $60