Golf outing to benefit injured veteran set for Aug. 23
BY JESSIE MOLLOY Correspondent August 10, 2014 12:46PM
Sergio Lopez, who lost his legs in an explosion while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2006, is pictured with his daughters Sasha, 11, and Sophia, 8. | Supplied photo
Updated: September 12, 2014 6:14AM
Sergio Lopez, a young soldier who lost both legs while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq, will be the beneficiary of this year’s Chicago Soldiers golf outing, scheduled for Aug. 23 at The Meadows Golf Club of Blue Island, 2802 W. 123rd St.
The annual fundraiser was the idea of Dan Drew, founder of the Chicago Soldiers organization.
“I began doing the golf outing four years ago when I read about Yuriy Zmysly, a marine from Oak Lawn who was disabled by complications to a medical procedure,” Drew said. “It was a horribly sad story and I wanted to come up with some way to help.”
Drew, of Orland Park, describes himself as patriotic and wanted to find a way to give back to injured veterans.
“I never served in the military, but I have friends who did and I know a lot of people here on the South Side who are very patriotic, like me,” he said, “so we put together the golf outing and it’s just grown and grown every year since.”
Playing in the outing costs $100 per person. Drew expects a turnout of about 150 players.
The event also includes an after-party luncheon, veterans tribute and silent auction, which so far includes donations from local businesses and Chicago sports teams. All proceeds from the auction and entry fees go to the year’s honoree.
“A lot of the participants in the outing are Chicago firefighters and police,” Drew said. “And that’s how I heard about Sergio, through some friends in the fire department. I’m very excited to be helping him because he’s a really nice, humble guy.”
Lopez, 32, lost both legs in Iraq in 2006 when he stepped on a roadside explosive device and now uses prosthetic legs. The lifelong Chicago-area resident has two daughters: Sasha, 11; and Sophia, 8.
“He was very thankful when I told him we wanted to help him,” said Drew, a sales representative for an LED lighting company. “He’s very humble though. His first reaction was ‘Why me?’ ”
The golf outing starts at 8 a.m. and the after-party at 1 p.m.
Last year, the organization was able to raise about $15,000 for the honoree, and it hopes to do the same this year. The outing and reception are open to the public, and Lopez and Zmysly and scheduled for attend.
For more information, email Drew at email@example.com.