Success at Swing for Our Heroes

September 9, 2022

United Through Reading (UTR) and Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) co-hosted the 5th annual Swing for Our Heroes golf tournament last month in San Diego. We are thrilled to announce the tournament raised $88,000 to help the two San Diego-based non-profit organizations strengthen military communities and improve the lives of our heroes. 

We were overjoyed when the top three golfing foursomes donated their winnings back to UTR and STEP. This year, Larry Cooke, Kat Walker, Aaron Silton, and Ed Hoffman were the top golfers. 

Aaron Silton is a veteran, former member of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), and a Wounded Warrior. He’s currently the assistant professional at the Carlsbad Golf Center and brought a near-perfect swing and humble attitude to the competition. 

Silton said, “I had a blast at the tournament. It was so nice to see all the money that was raised for a worthy cause. We get to enjoy our freedom because of the people that are still fighting for it. I for one, will never forget that.” 

140 community, military leaders, and veterans participated in the tournament. Navy veteran and longtime San Diego business owner Dave Oates served as the event emcee. 

Swing for our Heroes is a wonderful tradition. We had beautiful weather, great camaraderie among the golfers, terrific appreciation for military families, and a rousing auction to conclude the day,” explains Dr. Sally Zoll, CEO of United Through Reading.

Hot items from the auction included contributions from Bobby Valentine, former professional baseball player and manager, and Curtis Shilling, former professional baseball player, and actor Mark Wahlberg. A San Diego Zoo Presidents Association Membership, a wine tasting trip to Sonoma, and a bi-plane ride were among the most sought-after items. 

The competition took place at the Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course in San Diego. 

We are grateful to our partners at STEP and all of the staff and volunteers that make the Swing for Heroes successful

Check out the official photo gallery

For a complete list of tournament sponsors, visit