The Thunderbirds, hosts of the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open WM Phoenix Open have entered into a two-year partnership with the Patriot All-America Invitational benefiting the Folds of Honor Foundation. The 54-hole stroke play event, which features 84 of the nation’s top collegiate golfers, is set for December 27-31, 2012 at the Wigwam Golf Club, located in Litchfield Park, Ariz.

Players earning PING All-America honors from the previous season in NCAA Divisions I, II and III are eligible to be invited to participate in the Patriot All-America. Additionally, a player from the United States Military, Naval and Air Force Academies will be invited, along with Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) national award recipients, members of the most recent Palmer Teams, AJGA All- Americans and Toyota Junior Golf World Cup participants currently enrolled as college freshmen.

“It fits in perfectly with our other collegiate and junior tournaments throughout the year and provides us yet another link with the next generation of PGA TOUR players,” said The Thunderbirds Big Chief Mike McQuaid. “The event saw a lot of success in its inaugural year and as an organization we are proud to be a part of what is already one of the premier amateur events in the state.”

As a partner of the Patriot All-America Invitational, The Thunderbirds will be onsite the week of the event to assist with scoring and player announcements on the 1st and 18th holes in addition to being responsible for the Thunderbird First Tee Junior Clinic.

“We can’t think of a better organization to partner with,” said Tom O’Malley, chief operating officer of JDM Partners – owners of the Wigwam. “For as long as I can remember, The Thunderbirds have been promoting the Valley through sports and this is a natural fit.”

The Thunderbirds, a local civic organization, have hosted the Waste Management Phoenix Open since 1934. Thunderbird membership is limited to 55 Active members. Each has demonstrated a sincere interest in sports and a dedication to community affairs. All Thunderbird activities and events are the prime responsibility of these Active Thunderbirds and are under the watchful eye of the Big Chief and Thunderbird Council. When a Thunderbird reaches the age of 45, their status changes from Active to that of Life Member. Although they are relieved of continuous duties, it is not unusual to see a Life Thunderbird lending a helping hand at The Waste Management Phoenix Open or one of the many other Thunderbird-sponsored events. There are over 300 members comprising The Thunderbirds organization. To date, the Thunderbirds have given more than $75 million dollars to local charities, including more than $48 in the last decade alone.