In January 1945, Harold “Snook” Lee was serving in the U.S. Coast Guard when his ship was struck at the exact point where he was sleeping. He survived the incident but unfortunately lost both of his legs. While the accident changed Harold’s life forever, it only reinforced his attitude and determination. Over the following three years he underwent a series of operations, rehabilitated his legs, received artificial limbs, and learned to walk all over again, refusing to believe that his physical condition would define him.
Harold is the father of Jim Lee ‘75 and Mike Lee ‘73, both former Syracuse basketball players. Jim was inspired by his father’s perseverance: “Simply watching him go about his daily routine, I could not help but learn how to compete and prevail.”
After his father passed away, Jim, his brother Tim, and their friends Marty Lamon, Tom Farneti, and Tom Mossotti held the first Harold Lee Open in 2003 in Harold’s honor. The tournament has sold out every year since its inception and this tournament marks the 15th year it’s being held.
“I wanted to do something to remember him, as well as all the veterans who gave their lives or became disabled protecting our freedom and way of life – these heroes deserve to be thanked and honored,” says Jim.
To date, the tournament has raised almost $400,000.
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University is partnering with Jim to organize this year’s golf tournament, which will be held August 29, 2018 and spots are quickly filling.
Proceeds from the tournament support our nation’s disabled veterans through the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program (EBV) at Syracuse University. EBV offers cutting-edge, experiential training and courses in entrepreneurship to veterans. The aim of the program is to open the door to economic opportunity for our veterans by developing the core competencies needed to create and sustain an entrepreneurial venture.
Deadline to register as a golfer is Wednesday, August 22nd. If you would like to support the Harold Lee Open please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 315-443-4020. Your support makes it possible for the IVMF to empower our nation’s veterans to realize their own American dream – the same dream they defended while wearing the uniform of this great country.