Tug McGraw Foundation


News & Events

TMF in the News

08/24/2016 at 11:39am

TMF's New Pilot Program-One Seat Today To Further Tomorrow

One of the most rewarding things for us at The Tug McGraw Foundation is when we achieve our mission to improve quality of life for those affected by brain-related trauma and tumors.


Over the past ten years, I’ve had the honor and privilege to meet some of the brightest minds in brain science and always in awe of their passion and dedication to their field.  While attending a conference this past spring, I always like to scan the room to appreciate the amount of talent and committed people, who day after day tackle the many challenges in brain health care and research. As I took in my final glance, a flood of thoughts came racing through, “ which brilliant and talented minds will be sitting in those future seats?”


To further advance, innovations, treatments, cures, services, and quality of life in brain science and care, It’s imperative for us to keep those seats filled today and tomorrow.  Seats that are a conduit to inspire learning and provide further education for the current and the next generation of frontline health care providers, researchers and leaders. The Tug McGraw Foundation is proud to announce our pilot travel program with the Navy SEAL Foundation and American Airlines to fill seats today to further tomorrow.  Jennifer Brusstar, CEO





TMF’s One Seat Today To Further Tomorrow provides travel on American Airlines for healthcare providers and students to grab a seat at various conferences with leading experts addressing the most relevant, cutting edge, education and practices on brain-related trauma and tumors.  Our goal is to maximize collaboration opportunities and to further education for Healthcare Providers, students and individuals engaged in sustaining and advancing evidence based treatments for civilians, veterans, military personal, and their families that are affected by brain-related trauma and or tumors. 



Travel Seats Now Open to the Following:

Doctoral Psychology students enrolled in an APA (American Psychological Association) Accredited Program, LCSW, ACSW, Registered MFT Intern, Licensed MFT, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and Licensed Psychiatrist (CE Credits Available)  Click here, to Apply for Travel


Take a Seat for the Following:



Navy SEAL Foundation Collective Impact Forum 2016



Event Date: November 1-2, 2016 Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego

Applications must be received by September 15, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. PST

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered


View Program and Speakers





















08/11/2016 at 7:22pm

TMF's Diamond in the Rough that is Bridging Community

We are proud to share with you the highlights and outcomes of our 2016 Baseball Season. As many of you know, TMF is located on the grounds of the Veterans Home of California, Yountville. This incredible place is home to nearly a 1000 veteran residents. A place that was very familiar to Tug McGraw and why TMF had a calling to be there-the Veterans and the diamond it possess-Borman Field. The Veteran's Home of Yountville is home to one of our nation's most beautiful baseball field and a field of dreams Tug loved to play on.


The mission of this program is to improve quality of life by bridging, veterans and community through America's favorite pastime-baseball. We aim to educate the community about the Veterans Home of Yountville, California (where we are based), Build relationships, Empower residents, Increase outdoor exercise for home's residents and Inrease intergenerational social activities for residents.


TMF's Jennifer Brusstar struck up a conversation with a resident sitting on a Bench with a New York baseball hat on.  She asked the man, "Are you a Mets fan or Yankee?" He said, "Yankee."  From that conversation on, the 93 year old veteran resident from New York enlightened her about this Mixed Nutts Team that plays on the campus here. What shocked Jennifer, is he furthered went on to say he is a currently playing on the team and that she should come at watch sometime.    At that moment it was if she heard Tug screaming from the fields of heaven,  “Jenn go see what this is all about-this is crazy awesome!” When she arrived to see this group of "Mixed Nutts" which they have named themeselves, she simply could not believe what 40 residents had created on their own, or as she said, "a league of their own."


"Two years later, The Tug McGraw Foundation is the extra lift in their wings to help them achieve and fly further.  "If he were with us today,  would be smack dab in the middle of each game with these guys. They truly have his “ Ya Gotta Believe” spirit.  With the simplicity of a bat, ball, and glove, this team demonstrates why we need to enjoy life, encourage others, and even laugh at yourself once in awhile." Jennifer Brusstar, Tug McGraw Foundation

What we Can't Say In Words...Moving Pictures with a Very Special Song- Can Say it All.

Thank you Veteran Resident, John Lew for your gift of photography

and Tim McGraw for "Top of the World"

Click here, to visit our Mixed Nutts Site for Written Outcomes on 2016,

to learn more about the program, and or how to get involved in 2017

Learn More

08/09/2016 at 12:19pm

TMF's Feathered Friends and a Tiny Garden are Delivering In a Big Way

By: Tim Greene, Member of the Veterans Home of California, Yountville and contributor to the Obsveration Post

Indeed we do!  In a field right in back of the Central Warehouse, the Home has a brand-new, professionally-built chicken coop, provided by the Tug McGraw Foundation, that currently accommodates five hens and two spirited roosters.



The Home is fortunate to have on campus (in the Administration Building) the headquarters of the Tug McGraw Foundation (hereafter TMF), co-founded by a friendly and high energy Director named Jennifer Brusstar.  During a fact-gathering interview, Jennifer describes for me her growing interest in reviving the old Veterans Home tradition of food sustainability.


The Home in 1884                                                          The Home Today is home to a 1000 veterans


Jennifer believes that a return to farming is just one of several programs that could help resolve many of the perennial conflicts affecting our Home community.  She has studied the early mission of the Home, as practiced in the late 1800s, in which livestock, especially hogs and chickens, were a big part of the Home’s sustainability. Jennifer observes that “there are strong bodies of research that demonstrate how connecting with nature, gardening, farming, and raising animals, improves and increases mental health, as well as psychological and spiritual development.”


Through funding efforts and community outreach, TMF started a small back-to-farming project called the Brain Food Garden (near the picnic area), currently  maintained by members from the Veterans Home Transitional Program and TMF Board and Staff. Jennifer explains, “Our Garden’s mission is to work with the Home’s Recreational Therapist to identify opportunities for outdoor exercise and therapy, to implement them, and, finally, to  measure the outcome values. The Garden serves a variety of purposes, including growing vegetables for a local homeless shelter and offering opportunities for intergenerational activities.”



Tug's Cuz, Frank and Jennifer   Home Adminstrator, Don and Rec Therapist Gigi


At one of the quarterly Garden BBQs hosted by TMF, Home member Ian Campbell approached Jennifer and asked her, “What about getting some chickens?” She replied, “Why chickens?” With a smile, Ian responded, “The sounds of caring for chickens take me back to my childhood.”  As a result of this one exchange in the Garden, TMF was inspired to begin creating the chicken project.


To demonstrate and meet TMF’s chicken project goal, Jennifer called upon the aid of her assistant, Ava Talamantez; TMF board member, Frank Henderson (Tug’s cousin); the Home’s Recrea-tional Therapist, Gigi Morgan; the Home’s Health and Safety Officer, Jennifer Leslie; and, most importantly, Ian Campbell and Steve Rodzinski, participants in the Brain Food Garden.


While her team was pulling together budgets, design, and   curriculum, Jennifer paid a visit to the French Laundry’s coop in Yountville. She says, “I fell in love with the simplicity and the community feel of it.”  Knowing she looked at the Rolls Royce of coops, Jennifer quickly realized that it was way out of her budget.


After searching online, Jennifer eventually found a group in Sebastopol called Wine Country Coops that had just what she was looking for. Her contact with this company surprisingly led to a productive connection with the owner, James Stamp, and his son, Gareth. Jennifer explained to the Stamp family that, by their helping to expand the Garden to include chickens, they would be greatly increasing the therapeutic value of the Home’s outdoor work programs. James Stamp was so moved by the mission of the project and the Foundation’s efforts that he and his family not only donated the materials to build the coop, they also came out and worked side by side with TMF and the Home members to build it. “Most astonishing,” says Jennifer, “was my discovery that Wine Country Coops was the same company that built the coop at the French Laundry.” Jennifer adds, “I believe there are no coincidences. Ava and I must have looked at over 500 coops before we landed on the Wine Country site.”



The Stampe Family, Steve and other members of the Home's transisiton program


I ask Jennifer to describe the actual construction of the coop.  She explains, “In the beginning we had a lot of disagreement on how best to build the exterior fencing to accommodate the actual Wine Country coop. We all agreed it would need to be like Ft. Knox against predators – foxes, raccoons, and even mountain lions.   In the end, it was a total community effort; the Home’s Transition group, together with TMF, mapped out the area, cleared the space, and framed and wired the exterior.


In anticipation of the Wine Country coop arrival, the TMF team pushed forward with their Ft. Knox plan. Jennifer tells me, “The team thought of everything to insure the safety and well-being of the chickens, from extending the mesh wiring to prevent animals from digging in, to a raised floor to give the chickens a dry place when it rains. The raised floor is often referred to as “the chicken’s dance floor;” a disco ball is the only thing missing.”


With Fort Knox in place, Operation Egg Plant was now ready to receive Wine Country Coops’ beautiful donation to the project. What is distinctive about WC’s chicken coops is that they are out-of-the-ordinary in design. Each coop is hand-crafted and numbered. The coop that Wine Country donated to the Brain Food Garden is a charming red and white, cottage-style hen house. It accommodates six to eight chickens and features laying space, ladder access for the chickens, and an egg-collecting door.


Jennifer continually emphasizes her back-to-basics philosophy of moving towards sustainability through gardening and outdoor therapy. When asked about the outcomes of this project, she explains, “The eggs the members collect and the veggies they harvest are donated and delivered to Mission Solano’s Bridge for Life Center, where they are used to supplement their meal program. To date, the project has made over ten deliveries. Fifty percentof the clients at Bridge For Life are veterans who are getting back on their feet. Ian and Steve are the principal reason this program is a success - two vets collecting and growing for other vets.”



Steve above with the chickens, Gigi and Jennifer making a harvest and egg delivery to Mission Solano


I ask, “What’s next for the TugMcGraw Foundation at the Home?” Jennifer responds, optimistically, “I’d like next to see us bring in horses.  That would be restoring real history at the Home.  I think our members would enjoy caring for horses, and I believe it would significantly increase their quality-of-life while living here.”





The coop – a.k.a. ‘The Egg Plant’ - is maintained by two volun-teers from Section A, Ian Campbell and Steve Rodzinski. This is a continuation of their involvement in the Veterans Home Transitional Program, run by Gigi Morgan.


As the chicken coop was being built, Gigi asked the men in the gardening program for volunteers to care for the new batch of chickens that would soon arrive.  Ian and Steve immediately volunteered, and they have since become the faithful caretakers of the chicken coop.  Jennifer likes to think of these two guys as embodying  “Ying and Yang” - that is, opposing yet complimentary personalities that inspire one another.


Ian Campbell (73) and Steve Rodzinski (61), are both relatively new to the Home environment, each arriving about 18 months ago. Ian, articulate and outspoken, comes from the Big Sur area.  He has a background in ranching.  His grandfather, a distinguished Texas Ranger, raised him on a horse and cattle ranch in Texas. “My father was in the Army,” says Ian, “and was always gone.  I was a real Army brat,” he laughs.  “We were called ‘brats’ because we got away with a lot more than kids usually do!”  Like his father, Ian’s military service was in the Army.


Soft-spoken Steve comes from Sacramento.  “I have no farming experience at all,” he says.  “I had a dog, but that was my only experience with animals. I’ve mostly been involved in industrial work. When I grew up, the closest I ever got to a chicken was in a store!”  Steve’s military service was also in the Army.


It’s early morning, and I accompany Ian and Steve on their morning trek to feed the chickens. Steve George, OP Photographer, is also with us to take pictures.  We walk through a gate and over some course and bumpy ground to get to the coop enclosure.  As we approach, the one-year-old chickens are immediately wary of our presence.  A strutting and protective Silkie Bantam rooster, “Snowball,” starts fiercely crowing and doesn’t stop all the while we are there.


Ian and Steve enter the coop and talk to their little flock, encouraging them out of hiding at the dark end of the enclosure.  Gradually the birds emerge.  The one they call ‘Gertrude’ heads for the gate, always trying to escape.


The guys perform their chores.  They put out fresh water and then scatter feed – a daily egg-laying formula plus a twice-a-week special mixture containing corn.  Ian collects the eggs; he gathers 3-5 per day.  The keepers end by seeing that all their birds are in good shape and good health.  (A few days later, Ian tearfully informs me that he found Gertrude dead one morning, he doesn’t know why. She was his favorite - a beautiful Speckled Sussex hen.)


The enclosure currently houses seven chickens altogether. Snowball, a fluffy, pure-white Silkie Bantam rooster. is the dominant male.  The other rooster, ‘Norbert‘ (the guys call him ‘Loud-mouth’), is a light-brown Bearded Silkie who spends his time quietly shepherding the hens.  Silkies are known for their beautiful, luxuriant appearance.  They have five rather than the usual four chicken toes and are often used as ornamental home pets.


Among the hens in the flock is a variety of colorful types: two Dutch Welsummers (the ‘Twins’), one Americauna, and one Black Laced Red Wyandotte that the guys call “Big Red.”  The hens each produce about three eggs per week, each one a distinctive color - from buff-colored to blue-green to chocolate-brown.


The Boys and the Girls

The chores end by Steve locking the coop and our departing. (Ed: Ian and Steve invite interested Home members to come up and visit the chicken coop, especially around 8:30 AM, when they perform their daily chores.  Although you have to walk over a bit of rough ground to get to the chicken enclosure, you’ll find the experience well worth the effort – especially to hear Snowball’s crowing upon your arrival.)



This beautiful array of chickens was donated to the Home by Jennifer Leslie, the Home’s Health and Safety Officer, and a person who keeps a variety of animals at her own home. Jennifer tells me, “I ordered the chicks from a hatchey in Missouri. They were born on February 16, 2015.  The hatchery shipped them in a box containing a little water, although their residual yolk-sack would have been enough for them to survive for up to three days in the mail.”


Jennifer continues, “I picked them up at the Post Office when they were only two days old, and I brought them home to a warm brooder that had lights and finely-powered food and fresh water with vitamins.  You have to dunk their little beaks in sugarwater to get them to start drinking, and you keep them in this very warm environment for several weeks to protect them from cold and chill.”  She continues, “I raised them until they were five months old.  Then I took half of them to the Home and kept the other half, the siblings.” Jennifer declares enthusiastically, “To me, chickens are relaxing!  They can live over seven years.  They really become your pets.”


Jennifer is a keeper of many more animals at her home.  In addition to chickens, she looks after two white shepherd dogs, a cat, some rabbits, and four beehives.  Sadly, she recently lost a horse that she has had for the past thirty years. Jennifer describes herself as a devoted lover of animals.  “My pet chickens get to live out their lives, even after they’ve stopped laying eggs.”


I ask Jennifer if there are any health hazards attached to the Home chicken coop.  She responds, “No, just wash your hands.  She adds, “The chickens have all been vaccinated against disease.”



Tug McGraw was a legendary pitcher for the New York Mets (1965-1974) and the Philadelphia Phillies (1974-1984). A few more items of interest about Tug McGraw: he was raised in Napa and Vallejo and served in the US Marine Corps.  Tug played many ballgames on our Home’s Borman Field. His coined the phrase, “Ya Gotta Believe,” which hangs on a sign above the entrance to one of the Home’s worksheds.  Tug’s son, Tim McGraw, is a Grammy-award-winning recording artist and actor. He is also the Foundation’s Honorary Chairman.

Tug McGraw Raised in Vallejo and Napa : The Marine, The Miracle Met, and The heart of the Phillies

Tug McGraw left an indelible mark on baseball and on his fans. He touched the lives of thousands of children and adults, both as a baseball player and then after his retirement. He worked tirelessly throughout his career on behalf of many community and charitable organizations.  In 2003, Tug was diagnosed with brain cancer. Prior to his death, he established the Tug McGraw Foundation to inspire and drive research that would build greater understanding of brain disease.

Tim McGraw


Recognizing that other areas of brain research, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), inform the science surrounding brain cancer, TMF widened its scope in 2009 to include a broader spectrum of the neurosciences...


Jennifer and her son Jack

Jennifer Brusstar is co-founder of the Tug McGraw Foundation.  Following twenty years as a flight attendant, Jennifer became Tug McGraw’s caregiver. Her husband was Tug’s teammate for the Phillies. Her passion in wanting to help others with neurological disorders and disease was driven by the love for her son, Jack, who at age two was diagnosed with Autism. Today at eighteen he can often be seen at Borman Field playing with the Home’s Mixed Nutts Team, which TMF supports. Jennifer says, “Now that’s another story - how TMF and the Mixed Nutts paired up to create an outdoor therapy program around America’s favorite pastime.”


Jennifer  believes that “ an important part of TMF’s mission is to continue to demonstrate to the State of California (CalVet) how a non-profit can compliment and give support to their veterans’ programs. By doing so, we are maximizing resources and funding, as well as demonstrating best practices by evaluating, measuring, and sharing the results with others. The chicken project falls under that umbrella.”


Jennifer concludes our interview by telling me, “It’s an exciting time for the Tug McGraw Foundation to be part of the Home and to help preserve it for future generations of veterans. I’m hoping that we can play a role in supporting veterans on a peer-to-peer basis across the country.  And I believe gardening and animals is one great way to make it happen.”


(Ed:  To learn more about TMF’s nationwide programs or to get involved with the Brain Food Garden, visitwww.tugmcgraw.org or stop by TMF’s office in the Administration Building and ask for Ava Talamantez.)


Source: Veterans Home of California, Yountville

Publication: Observation Post, August 2016, Vol 2 No. 19, Written by Tim Greene, Veteran and Home Member

Photo Credits Veterans: Steve George, Home Member

Photo Credits Tim McGraw: MLB and Mets

Photo Credits Tug McGraw: MLB, Phillies and Mets




07/05/2016 at 1:15pm

A Message from Team Eric from the Summit

After a tremendous weekend climbing, we wanted to report back to all of you that Team Eric successfully summited Mount Rainer in the early morning on Sunday June 26th. Our climbing adventure began on June 24th with a refresher clinic of mountaineering safety skills and techniques, skills that were luckily never needed. The following day, with abundant sunshine, we commenced our climb to Camp Muir (an outpost located at 10,000 ft) to rest for a few hours before beginning our summit attempt at midnight on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, at about 12,000 ft at 2 am, Will faced some problems with his climbing boots and was forced to stop before some steep rocky pitches.  Jon and Josh were able to push forward and bring the Team Eric and Tug McGraw banner to the summit (14,410 ft). The team descended together from Camp Muir to the bottom in high spirits. Will was proud to be a part of the expedition despite the difficulties and plans to return to Mount Rainier to conquer the last couple thousand feet.



We wanted to thank all of our friends and family for supporting us on our journey over the past six months. We are so proud, not only of our time on the mountain, but of the incredible fundraising achievement which all of you were a part of: we raised $14,774 from 144 donors for the Tug McGraw foundation, more than 120% of our goal. We set out to make this journey about doing something bigger than ourselves, to raise money and awareness about Brain Cancer, Veterans PTSD and TBI, as well as celebrate Josh’s Dad Eric’s birthday. We accomplished all of these goals and could not have done it without your support.



As a team, we gained both a deeper friendship and a greater appreciation for the challenge of climbing. We hope to continue this tradition together in the future. Thank you again for being a part of this special moment with us, and we hope you enjoy the attached pictures.





Will, Josh and Jon

(Team Eric)


06/20/2016 at 9:57am

TMF's Study Hits Denver Post Game of Pain: Inside NFL

Game of Pain, part 2: Untangling the knots

Why former Bronco Jeb Putzier has turned to an array of therapies to ease his post-football Pain

By Nicki Jhabvala-Denver Post-Published June 17, 2016



With a greater awareness of football’s long-term effects on their health, many ex-players are anxiously searching for ways to not only treat pain but also prevent the onset of additional symptoms. Specialists in Colorado have joined the hunt.

Jeb Putzier knows how he got here, sitting on his couch on a recent Tuesday morning, his hair disheveled and his daily regimen of therapy and supplements scribbled on a calendar on the kitchen table. His thoughts can often be muddled, but some replays remain vivid.

He remembers the brutal blow delivered by New England cornerback Asante Samuel in 2005 that left him with six stitches and a jaw that still pops out. Putzier remembers the crushing hit by San Diego linebacker Steve Foley later that season that is still floating around the internet titled “Steve Foley almost kills Jeb Putzier.”

Putzier remembers his release from the Broncos seven years ago, and he certainly remembers the steep drop that followed: his suicide attempt and an acrimonious end to his marriage that limits visitations with his two young children to once every few weeks.

“My kids. If my kids weren’t here,” he says, “I’d already be dead.”


After suffering what he estimates were more than 1,000 concussions, as well as an array of physical injuries during his eight-year professional career as a tight end, seven of those in the NFL, Putzier now spends his time searching for ways to clear his mind and end his pain. His joints ache. His head hurts. And although his injuries are far from debilitating, his mind is constantly in overdrive, causing otherwise routine activities to exhaust him.


Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel pummels PutzierPutzier is hit hard by Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce

JOHN LEYBA, DENVER POST FILEPatriots cornerback Asante Samuel pummels Putzier during a game in 2005.

ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTOA week later, Putzier is hit hard by Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce.



05/08/2016 at 11:13pm

SOLD OUT Country Music Legends & Songwriters Double Header for TMF


VIEW EVENT SITE: www.tugmcgrawproam.org                       SOLD OUT


Tug McGraw Foundation to Host Double-Header Events
Evening in the Songwriters Round at the Listening Room Café, June 6th &5th Annual Celebrity Sporting Clay Pro-Am at Nashville Gun Club, June 7th

With over $425,000 raised over the last four years, both events benefit The Tug McGraw Foundation (TMF) and its work to improve quality of life for ournation’s wounded, ill and injured service members and civilians living with brain-related trauma and tumors.

Yountville, CA – May 9, 2016 – The Tug McGraw Foundation (TMF), a national nonprofit that raises awareness, supports programs, and drives research to build greater understanding for brain-related trauma and disease, today announced double-header fundraising events to sponsor research and programming to improve quality of life for children and adults with brain tumors, our nation’s service members, veterans, and others suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

"I love what the TMF does as an organization,” said country music artist Craig Campbell. “I have been honored to participate each year at the Pro-Am and pumped to be included on the evening Songwriting show. Taking care of our military once they return is very important and the TMF does that better than any other organization.”

On Monday, June 6, 2016 the TMF will host An Evening in the Songwriters Round, emceed by writer, producer and Great American Country host, and SiriusXM radio host, Storme Warren at the Listening Room Café in Nashville, Tennessee.

Several of Nashville’s leading singers/songwriters will then share the stage and trade off playing their original songs. The 2016 round includes: Jamie O'Neal, Keith Anderson, Craig Wiseman, Marv Green, Tom Douglas, and Craig Campbell. Keith Anderson, Craig Wiseman, Tom Douglas, and Craig Campbell.


Seating is limited and tickets for this event willgo fast, so make reservations early. Tickets and sponsorships are available.  Reservations can be made online at http://www.tugmcgrawproam.org, or by phone (707) 947-7124.

The 5th Annual Tug McGraw Foundation Celebrity Sporting Clay Pro-Am will be held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the Nashville Gun Club. Sponsored by Tarver Land Development and course sponsor First Data, the event will feature an exciting array of celebrities from the music, sports, and professional sporting clay communities, all vying for a chance to be crowned champions.

An all-star lineup of celebrities will participate including Tim McGraw, country music legend, Tanya Tucker, Mike Fisher of the NHL Nashville Predators, Andy Ross, Craig Campbell, Preston Brust and Chris Lucas of the LoCash Cowboys, Brooke Eden, Craig Morgan, Eric Paslay, Granger Smith, Keith Anderson, Mark Collie, Mark Wills, Darryl Worley, Ty Herndon, Jamie Lynne Spears, and Headline Country host Storme Warren.


“I have the honor and privilege to support many great charity events, however the Tug McGraw Pro-Am is the highlight of my year,” said event title sponsor Robby Tarver, owner of Tarver Land Development. “Tarver Land is proud to be a repeat sponsor and partner of the continued journey for treatment of cognitive brain disease. This event is unique and brings a diverse group of people together for a great cause!”

The exclusive star-studded event is a sporting clay shooting competition between 20 teams consisting of four shooters, a pro, and a celebrity. There will be great food and a post event awards cocktail reception. For more information about becoming a sponsor of the event, please visit http://www.tugmcgrawproam.org. Follow us on Twitter @tugmcgraw, and #tugmcgrawproam.

About the Tug McGraw Foundation The Tug McGraw Foundation (TMF) was established by Tug McGraw in 2003 to raise funds to enhance the quality of life of children and adults with brain tumors and their families by stimulating and facilitating research that addresses the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual impact of the disease. Recognizing that other areas of brain research - such as traumatic brain injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - inform the science surrounding brain cancer, TMF has widened its scope to include a broader spectrum of the neuroscience to support advances in medical care and quality of life for our nation’s battle-wounded, ill and injured service members. www.tugmcgraw.org

Media Contact:Tara L. Biller,












04/17/2016 at 3:42pm

Tim McGraw Joining Forces to Further Improve Quality of Life for others


Having sold two companies for nine-digit sums and led the Nashville Entrepreneur Center as its founding CEO, Michael Burcham has a fair amount of star power in Nashville's health care and entrepreneurial circles. But the newest board member of Burcham's latest venture, Narus Health, is a slightly bigger name. Country singer Tim McGraw is joining the board of directors of the palliative care company, which aims to improve the quality of life for patients facing terminal illness.


The partnership brings together Nashville's two largest industries, health care and country music. McGraw's involvement and status as a public face for shared efforts of his own foundation and Narus will help get the company's message out to a broader audience of consumers, Burcham said.


Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw

“When I learned of Narus Health’s patient-focused approach, helping people with serious illness live their lives, it struck a chord," McGraw, whose father, baseball player Tug McGraw, died of brain cancer, said in a news release. "I remember all the decisions my dad had to make along the way, and the support system he needed throughout his journey.


"When you are facing a serious illness, you need a dedicated team to ride alongside you," he continued. "People who will listen, provide support and guidance for you and your family, and give you a voice in your health care decisions. That’s the kind of care everyone deserves, and it’s why I’m partnering with Narus Health."



After five years running the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and inspired by the death of his friend, mentor and family member Tommy Cato, Burcham launched Narus in 2015. The company has moved into offices at 2525 West End, Burcham said, and expects to launch its first pilots this summer. ( Read more about the company's backstory and model here.)



Burcham said he and McGraw first met through mutual friends, and soon connected about their shared personal experiences and passion for helping those facing terminal illness.  Narus and the Tug McGraw Foundation, named for the country singer's father, will announce a series of shared initiatives in the coming months, according to the release.



When Tim and I shared our personal stories of loved ones who faced a serious illness and the incredible amount of stress it placed on our families, we quickly realized we shared a passion for making a difference,” Burcham said. “We talked about ways we could give consumers a voice in their health care choices, support their families and provide them the guidance and resources they need to make informed decisions. We both knew at that moment: we could combine our teams and our talents to do something meaningful for families all over America."



Source: Nashville Business Journal


Eleanor Kennedy covers Nashville's health care and technology industries.



02/23/2016 at 8:52pm

Get in the know everything McGraw


Summer is around the corner...

We are ramping up early this season at the Tug McGraw Foundation and you're invited

Summer is around the corner and TMF is in full swing developing our spring and summer programs and events.

Here is your official Save the Dates for everything "McGraw this Spring and Summer." Come play ball, plant a veggie, be in the "know" on how songwriters write songs, ride a horse in Colorado, gather eggs, empower yourself and attend a conference.

What do these activities all have in common?

They enhance quality of life. Our aim is to stimulate and facilitate research and programs that addresses the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and/or spiritual impact of the brain for those affected by brain-related trauma and tumors.

Your Ticket to Everything McGraw...

Last month, TMF's CEO was asked to take part as Matron of Honor from a very special woman, Mary Winnefeld, who has devoted her life to military families. The surprise? It is not your typical bride in a white gown...
Town of Yountville and the NFL Pro Hall of Fame raised funds for TMF's Invisible Brain Injury Project

Read Full Story
Team Eric
This is a story of three friends determined to summit Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington State and turning it into an opportunity to raise money for brain cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury research.
Read Full Story
Honoring all Military Women
Past, Present & Future
Luncheon & Resource Fair
March 24, 2016

Veterans Home of California, Yountville
Free Registration

Volunteer/Need Opportunities
We need help in the Brain Food Garden, Our office, and the Mixed Nutts Program. We are looking for auction items for our Nashville event
Contact us
on An Incredible Adventure 
and Support The Tug McGraw Foundation
An opportunity of a lifetime

View this enchanted piece of America

Veterans Creative Program, Civic Leaders, Yountville
Womens' Veterans Conference, Yountville
Brain Food Garden Spring BBQ, Yountville
Mixed Nutts, Home Opener
Registration, Frisco Marathon
Registration, NYC Marathon
TMF Celebrity Pro Am

02/23/2016 at 11:54am

TMF & Gateway Canyons want you to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!


Go on a Drive                          Start Living />
Be amongst the first to discover the all new Palisade Ranch at Gateway Canyons Resort. Saddle up, drive cattle or gaze at the stars before returning to your luxury accommodations. This spring, explore all that untouched Western Colorado and Gateway Canyons has to offer. When you reserve your Western Experience before March 30th and mention "McGraw", Gateway Canyons Resort will donate a percentage of your experience to the Tug McGraw Foundation.
Palisade ranch                                  at Gateway Canyons Resort
Tug Mcgraw                                  Foundation
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Noble House
Noble House Hotels & Resorts, LLC., owns and manages unique, upscale and visually captivating properties spanning coast to coast. With a philosophy that emphasizes “location, distinction and soul,” Noble House Hotels & Resorts exemplifies individuality, dedicating itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that contribute to their communities and stay true to local history, culture and ambiance. Each property, restaurant, spa, and marina is meticulously designed to stand on its own merits. Noble House properties provide a sense of escape from everyday life - for both leisure and business guests alike. A stay at a Noble House hotel or resort is truly an experience and adventure in of itself.

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02/10/2016 at 7:37am

Our Spring and Summer Line-Up & You're Invited


Mixed Nutts Sign-Ups

Mar 4 2, 2016, 11:00am to 2:00pm, Lee Lounge

Veterans Home of California, Yountville

Contact Info@tugmcgraw.org to volunteer or learn more



Volunteer Cleanup Day in the Brain Food Garden

March 2016, Date TBD

Veterans Home of Yountville, California

Contact Ava@tugmcgraw.org to volunteer or learn more


Mixed Nutts

April 11, 2016, 4:30pm

Borman Field, Veterans Home of California, Yountville

Contact info@tugmcgraw.org to volunteer, put together a team or to support


Texas Big Star Half Marathon and 5K, April 16, 2016

Frisco, Texas

Contact CoachMcMahon@tugmcgraw.org to learn more



Fstop Spring/Summer Program

New Classes to begin in April of 2016. Details coming soon.

Wounded Warrior Battalion, Camp Pendleton

Contact Info@tugmcgraw.org to get on the list or learn more


The Tug McGraw Foundation Celebrity Pro Am Sporting Clay Tournament

June 6-7, 2016 On Sale Now

Nashville, TN

Contact Ava@tugmcgraw.org for further information


Registration for New York Marathon TBA

Contact Coach Jeff McMahon for early details at CoachMcMahon@tugmcgraw.org




01/22/2016 at 4:36pm

Join Us for Super Bowl Sunday in Yountville


"Ya Gotta Believe"  in the Town of Yountville and
The NFL Hall of Fame
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NFL Hall of Famers Rock The Red Zone In Yountville for TMF and You're Invited!

Join NFL Legends for the Big Game Tailgate and Watch Party

YOUNTVILLE, CA, December 8, 2015—Six Pro Football Hall of Fame legends host a Watch Party fundraiser during the championship game on Sunday, February 7, 2016.  A pre-game tailgate party starts at noon, with NFL Hall of Famers and other special guests greeting those who gather at the Town’s Community Center for pre-game fun, food and libations.

The Watch Party beginning at 2:30 P.M. will feature six exclusive lounge areas, each hosted by a Pro Football Hall of Famer including – Anthony Munoz, Jack Youngblood, Dave Wilcox, Willie Brown, Chris Doleman, and Joe DeLamielleure— providing attendees with the opportunity to interact with the players up close and personally. Lounges include complimentary food and beverage service, comfy sofas, and a perfect view of the 14-foot, high-definition video wall showing football’s ultimate game. The first person to purchase an entire lounge will receive an authentic autographed Hall of Fame football. Lounges accommodate eight (8) and may be purchased for $5,000.  Individual lounge seats are $500 each.  There are only six lounges available.

In addition to the lounge areas, there will be reserve tables for eight, each available for buy-out at $1,250.  Table guests will each receive a Hall of Fame ball cap and Sharpie markers suitable for autographs.  Individual reserve seating at tables is $125 per person and includes two drink tickets and serve-yourself game day chow. NFL Legends will mix and mingle with guests during the game.  

General Admission standing/partial bench seating for the broadcast is priced at $75 per person.  Admission to the tailgate party is $25 per person. A silent auction will also take place, featuring a Hall of Fame 50th anniversary helmet, autographed by over sixteen Hall of Famers, along with other items.

Sponsored by the Yountville Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Yountville’s Tourism Improvement District, a portion of the net proceeds of this once-in-a-lifetime experience for football fans will benefit the Tug McGraw Foundation’s research and service programs focusing on traumatic brain injury.

“Our watch party is the perfect way to rock the red zone and enjoy the Big Game while supporting a great local charity,” said Cindy Saucerman, President and CEO of the Yountville Chamber of Commerce. “It will make a fantastic holiday gift for football fans and may be your only chance to experience a championship game in the company of the Legends who created the game.”

Tickets are available online at www.yountville.com. For more information, call the Yountville Chamber of Commerce at (707) 944-0904.

Photo Credits: Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio

Purchase Tickets
Copyright © *2015* *The Tug McGraw Foundation *, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Tug McGraw Foundation
Veterans Home of California, Yountville
P.O. Box 45, Yountville, CA 94599

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website: www.tugmcgraw.org phone: 707-947-7124 email: info@tugmcgraw.org


01/05/2016 at 5:09pm

Saving Patient Ryan-A Story of Team Work and Collaboration


“I will never leave a fallen comrade.” It’s one of the basic pillars of the Warrior Ethos. This is true for Veterans as well.

Ryan Begg, a young Army Veteran, was one of an estimated 8,000 Veterans who currently find themselves in need of serious medical care in a foreign country. But Ryan found himself stranded 7,000 miles from home.

He had suffered severe injuries after falling from a highway overpass in a tragic motorbike accident while in Thailand this past August. His wife Danielle flew out to be with him and lived at the hospital under his bed.

Ryan Begg in his hospital bed.

Ryan Begg in his hospital bed.

His injuries were overwhelming:

  • Seven fractured ribs
  • Punctured right lung
  • Bilateral scapulae fractures
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Right hip fracture
  • Right femur fracture
  • Right Acetabular fracture
  • Severe Traumatic brain injury


When he ended up in a critical care unit, his family reached out to military service organizations in an attempt to get him transported to medical care in the U.S. Unfortunately, the active and reserve components of the military could not assist.


The United State Special Operations Care Coalition reached out to Jennifer Brusstar of The Tug McGraw Foundation to see if it could assist. Upon learning of the seriousness of Ryan’s condition, the Tug McGraw Foundation contacted the VHA Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Chief Planner, Derrick Jaastad.




Ryan Begg in uniform.Jaastad coordinated with multiple organizations including the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Department of Defense, State Department, local medical providers, VISN 21, the Pacific Island Health Care System and the Tug McGraw Foundation to develop a plan to get this Veteran into VA care.


“Helping this Veteran back into the VA network has been one of the more satisfying things I have done” said Jaastad.

VHA OEM normally does not work on issues with individual Veterans but assists and coordinates in disasters and contingencies for VA Medical facilities. Due to Ryan’s medical situation and because he was in a foreign country, it took several weeks of coordination by Jaastad to develop a viable plan.


Ryan’s family did not have funds to pay for private transport to the U.S., and VA cannot by law pay for beneficiary travel outside of the country. In addition, Ryan’s medical fitness for travel remained a significant concern.


With the perseverance of many individuals, organizations, and with the support of VHA leadership, on Sept. 23 Ryan boarded a medical flight to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu and within 24 hours was in surgery. After several weeks of surgical and medical care he was transferred to the Palo Alto VA Medical Center for rehabilitation.


Recovering slowly, he is now able to feed himself, is showing improvement in motor skills and speech and is able to get around in his wheelchair. A native of Washington state, Ryan served as a Special Forces Medic in Afghanistan.


Danielle Begg kisses and Ryan Begg on James Bond Island

Danielle and Ryan Begg


“In learning about Ryan’s situation, I would have piloted a plane myself to get him back from Thailand to U.S. territory,” said Tim McGraw, Honorary Chairman of the Tug McGraw Foundation. “But what he needed was a Critical Care Team with expertise.  Through collaborative efforts led by the VHA Office of Emergency Management with the Care Coalition, the Tug McGraw Foundation, the State Department, and the Fisher House, that’s exactly what happened.”


“There are many other acutely injured Veterans out there that need a champion in order to receive the care they have earned” Derrick Jaastad says. “We work with our Veteran Service Organizations and federal partners to identify those Veterans who are in medical crises and get definitive medical care as we did with Ryan.”


The VHA Office of Emergency Management team has staff across the country dedicated to serving Veterans in this very unique way.


“Our emergency managers are there, no matter what goes wrong” stated VHA OEM Director Dr. Daniel Bochicchio. “We are always available and always ready for any situation to help ensure Veterans get the care they need, even if they are 7,000 miles from home.”

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

About the Author: Barbra Meadows is the Operations Branch Chief for the VHA Office of Emergency Management


12/21/2015 at 1:10am

Our Gift To You...2015 Flashback


TMF Holiday Card 2014

You Are Our Gift...Open it!

to see how YOU helped change lives in 2015
for those with brain-related trauma and tumors

Our 2015 Year in Review

Wishing You a Joyous Holiday Season!
From our Team McGraw Family to Yours

Copyright © 2015 The Tug McGraw Foundation, All rights reserved.
Tug McGraw Foundation Holiday Card

Our mailing address is:
Tug McGraw Foundation: P.O. Box 45, Yountville, CA 94599  Phone: 707-947-7124 E-mail: Info@tugmcgraw.org 

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