A local man is hosting a golf tournament with a very special purpose in mind.
The Inaugural "Ova Heeere" Golf Tournament is being held this Friday at The Links at Riverlakes Ranch. The tournament, which is set to tee off at noon, will directly benefit the Organized Veteran Appreciation program at the course.
The surface goal of OVA is to treat veterans in Kern County to a day of golf and food, but the main purpose is to get veterans out of the house and doing something they enjoy. It's all put together by a man named Joe Buccino.
"Give them some love, and let them know that they're an important part of this community," Buccino said of local veterans. The program has been in existence since 2012, but the tournament this Friday will be a first, with all the proceeds benefiting veterans through OVA.
"People are actually going to come out and play golf to my dad's vision," Buccino said of the tournament. "It's just amazing."
Buccino says during his father's fatal battle against leukemia, his dad asked him to do something after he was gone: take care of veterans however he could.
"He was adamant on it, you know? He'd say 'you need to make sure you do this for the veterans because it's important to me that you do this Joe'," he said.
Buccino's father passed away in 2007. Before that, Buccino was a victim of a violent crime that derailed his life, making the continuation of his father's vision even more incredible.
"Life is good, it can be good, you just have to keep moving forward," Buccino said.
The tournament will be a team scramble par-3 tournament on all 18 holes. Anyone interested in playing in the tournament can sign up at Riverlakes golf course. You can also call the course at 661-587-5465 or call Buccino directly at 737-444-9259.
If you are a veteran or want to see how you can help with OVA, call Buccino at the number above.