By Audrey Spencer
Killeen Daily Herald
Due to the efforts of Wishes for Our Heroes, Spc. Richard Morrison, a 1st Cavalry Division soldier, will get to introduce his parents to their second grandchild.
The Morrison family's wish was one of two granted Thursday at the first Hackers and Heroes Charity Golf Tournament at Stonetree Golf Course in Killeen.
Wishes for Our Heroes, an organization established to raise money to grant the wishes of active-duty service members in all branches of the armed forces, granted Morrison's wish to travel to Chicago to visit his family, who has not yet met his infant son, Mason.
"It's awesome," said Morrison, who is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. "I've been wanting to go to Chicago. Hopefully we'll go to the Bulls parade when they win the finals."
In an unplanned move, a representative of Ashley Furniture gave the Morrisons $500 spending money for their trip.
Also Thursday, Sgt. 1st Class Donald Russell was granted a yearlong membership to the golf course to help him achieve his post-Army dream of competing in the senior Professional Golfers Association tour.
At the daylong event, 27 teams of four golfers, including one Fort Hood soldier each, played rounds at the course in the name of raising money for the organization. Alton "Bo" Brister, vice president of Wishes for Our Heroes, said the event raised an estimated $20,000.
"Most of the money we raise will go back for wishes here at Fort Hood," said Brister. "We're a national organization and grant wishes all over the country."
The organization was founded as an answer to the lack of charities focused on helping non-injured soldiers.
"Other charities focus on extreme circumstances," said Jeff Wells, president of the organization, at the event. "We focus on helping the average soldier, though of course there's no such thing as an average soldier."
The organization accepts wishes from service members or their families to cover anything from car and appliance repairs to professional sports event tickets.
At Thursday's event, Wishes for Our Heroes also raffled off a number of gift certificates and auctioned away items such as Texas Tech basketball tickets, the proceeds of which also went toward the money raised at the tournament.
First-, second- and third-place finishers in the two flights of the tournament received cash prizes. The first-place team in the first flight handed their $360 check back to Wishes for Our Heroes.
"We like to give back," said Heather Bounds, who sponsored the team. "It was perfect. We enjoyed ourselves and the goal was accomplished."
Contact Audrey Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.