Memorial Day is a time for all of us to pause and remember those who died for our country; and to think about what they sacrificed for our freedom. For LPGA Tour veteran Paula Creamer, giving back to the people who serve—and their families—is something she thinks about almost every day.
Creamer comes from and married into a military family. Her father served 22 years as a naval pilot. Her husband, Derek, served and was deployed with the U.S. Air Force. She also has a cousin who’s a Marine. But, Creamer’s passion for supporting the military goes beyond her own family experience.
“I think my main passion is just bringing awareness. People tend to forget that we have men and women over there, protecting and serving our country,” Creamer said. “Golf has given me a platform to use my voice; to create that awareness—and that’s what I’m trying to do. “
For many years, Creamer has personally visited military bases, hospitals and hosted golf clinics for military families.
“I think it’s important to see what these men and women do; how they prepare, what they go through. I also try to meet with military families, and try to bring golf into it, whenever I can,” she said. “Having six, seven, eight military members come out and walk nine holes with me, or caddie during a practice round, is fun for them and wonderful for me, too. They’re such great people.”
Other visits are much less lighthearted.
“I’ve been to Walter Reed which, I think was probably one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Meeting these young men and women just 19, 20 years old; listening to their stories and understanding what they’ve been through changes your perspective,” Creamer said. “What I do in my daily life is nothing compared to what they go through—the sacrifices they’re making so I can go and hit a little golf ball. It’s pretty remarkable.”
Forming the Paula Creamer Foundation
Recently, Creamer formed the Paula Creamer Foundation to give back to military families on a broader scale.
“The Paula Creamer Foundation helps military families in all branches of the military,” Creamer said. “If a family needs to get somewhere, or if the family of a fallen soldier needs help with tuition or their children’s education, we take care of that.”
Right now, the Foundation is just getting started, funded primarily by Creamer and donations from people who understand and want to support her mission. But, she’s currently working on a website and definitely has big goals for the organization in the future.
“I would love to have an LPGA golf event that benefits the cause, and involves the men, women and families who serve,” Creamer said. “I would love to honor them more publicly, and offer a two- or three-day retreat for them and their families, as well.”
It all comes down to giving those who sacrifice so much the respect and gratitude they deserve.
“They need to know that they’re not forgotten. That we’re here to help,” Creamer said.
To donate, or find out more information, send check or inquiry to:
Paula Creamer Foundation
6060 Parkland Blvd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44124