Thirty local military moms-to-be whose spouses are deployed members of the U.S. Navy will be honored during an Operation Shower group baby shower on Friday, November 30, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Sunset Room of the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse. The “Babies for the Brave”-themed event will be hosted by Amy Mickelson, wife of PGA TOUR player Phil Mickelson, and Cathy Justice, wife of Greenbrier Resort Owner Jim Justice, as part of a Birdies for the Brave fundraising weekend taking place at TPC Sawgrass from Friday, November 30 – Saturday, December 1.
Sponsored by University of Phoenix, the Operation Shower event is being conducted in partnership with Birdies for the Brave, with support from Young America and Petunia Pickle Bottom.
“Our active duty military members and veterans are this nation’s heroes, and that means not only supporting them while overseas, but also making sure their families are taken care of back home,” said Mark Brenner, senior vice president of external affairs at Apollo Group. “University of Phoenix is proud to sponsor this Operation Shower® event to honor our nation’s military members as well as the heroes at home – military spouses and expectant mothers raising families while their loved ones protect our nation around the world.”
During the Shower, the moms will enjoy a delicious lunch, have the opportunity to share stories and gain comfort from other military moms-to-be in the same situation, and have the chance to win raffle prizes. The highlight of the event will be the presentation of Operation Shower’s signature “Shower in a Box.” Each mom will receive a box containing an array of unique, high-quality products and gift items for mothers and babies that have been generously donated by companies including supporting sponsor Petunia Pickle Bottom. From onesies and baby bottles to clothing, crib bedding, diaper bags and toys, the gifts will go a long way toward raising the spirits of the moms-to-be, many of whom would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a baby shower. Young America, Stanley Furniture Company’s industry-leading brand of nursery and youth furniture, which is made exclusively in the USA, will provide the grand raffle prize.
“At Young America, we are proud to offer the safest furniture that parents can buy for a child, and our American-made story is especially appropriate for the children of true American heroes – our military members serving abroad,” said Neil MacKenzie, director of marketing at Young America and Stanley Furniture Company. “Young America is excited to support Operation Shower and Birdies for the Brave to do what we can to ensure that the littlest members of our nation’s military families have a safe nursery at home while their parents work around the world to ensure our country’s safety.”
Operation Shower was created in 2007 by Founder and Chief Shower Officer LeAnn Morrissey, who identified a need for honoring military moms – the ones typically holding everything together at home while their spouses proudly serve our country. “Without their spouses by their side, deployed to another part of the world, these moms deserve our support, our thanks, our love and an opportunity to celebrate together,” says Morrissey.
Petunia Pickle Bottom Founder and Designer DeNai Jones echoed those sentiments, saying, “Military moms play an integral role in preserving our freedom by serving at home so their loved ones can serve abroad. We are delighted to partner with Operation Shower and Birdies for the Brave at this event to show our gratitude and support for these courageous women.”
In addition to Amy Mickelson and Cathy Justice, special guests will include Phil Mickelson’s mother, Mary Mickelson, and Amy Mickelson’s mother, Renee McBride. Prior to the Shower, guests will attend a military appreciation ceremony on the event lawn outside the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse beginning at 9:30 am. The ceremony will help kick off the Birdies for the Brave Pro-Am, part of the fundraising weekend, which is being hosted by the Mickelsons and the Justices and benefits nine military homefront groups supported by Birdies for the Brave.
The Pro-Am will feature 54 PGA TOUR, LPGA and Champions Tour players including Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino and Nancy Lopez. The weekend’s festivities will also include a Gala Dinner on Friday night and a charity concert on Saturday night at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville featuring Vince Gill and Darius Rucker. For more information on the Birdies for the Brave fundraising weekend, please visit www.galaforb4b.org.