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Golf tourney raises funds to purchase all-terrain wheelchair for disabled Manteca vet

Scott Souza — a Manteca resident who served in the Air Force for 20 years before becoming permanently disabled — is the benefactor of a golf tournament next month being staged to purchase an all-terrain wheelchair.

Bridge to Change — a Manteca-based non-profit — is staging their fourth annual United We Stand golf tournament at the Manteca Golf Course, 305 N. Union Road, on Friday, Sept. 28, to raise funds to buy the chair. Registration for the four-person scramble starts at 11 a.m. with tee time at 12:30 p.m.

The $125 per person registration fee covers 18 holes of golf with cart, tee prizes, range balls, complimentary souvenir bag lunch on-course beverages, awards, team photos, buffet dinner, and raffle items. The Sacramento Kings’ dancers will be present for autographs and photos.

Souza, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Military Academy in Colorado Springs, spent his career in the military specializing in logistics as he traveled the globe numerous times before becoming permanently disabled.

A 1994 graduate of East Union High School, Souza earned a Bachelor’s Degree on his way to becoming an Air Force officer. He later attained his Masters’ Degree.

Souza is an accomplished marksman and enjoys going to the Manteca Sportsmen’s outdoor shooting range south of Manteca despite the limitations to his arms and legs.

Souza entered the Academy with long-time friend Nick Nobriga who became a training instructor in the Air Force on F-15 jet fighter planes and before moving over to the U-2 spy planes.  In high school Souza participated in three sports – football, basketball and swimming. He was assigned to one of two specialized logistic units while in the Air Force – one on the West Coast and the other on the East Coast.

A mounted “Order of the Bayonet” presentation with a noted inscription along with his dog tags is a special keep sake in Souza’s home office.  It reads:

                “Let it be known that Captain Scott Souza has been and always will be counted as a member      of the 621st Air Mobility Squadron, the finest airlift tanker control ever headed by the U.S.         Air Force.  His technical ability, judgment and determination made him a force to be feared           and respected.  He is a leader of men and women, a true soldier of the sky.”

Led by Manteca resident Irene Godinez, the organization has already made it possible for three veterans to return to outdoor pursuits thanks to the all-terrain wheelchairs.

The Tracker Chair is a motorized wheelchair that runs in tracks similar to those found on tanks allowing the user to navigate everything from steep inclines and sandy beaches and even terrain to hunt and fish.

The all-terrain wheelchairs are presented free of charge to a veteran who has sustained permanent injuries, losing multiple limbs, and who sacrificed their life and was committed to protecting our country.  The chair allows a veteran who was a double, triple or quadruple amputee reclaim their outdoor activity independence by being able to access almost any path, independently, without assistance.  It allowed them to get back to activities of the past, such as fishing, hunting, strolling along the beach, and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors once again.   

Those wishing to golf in the tournament, be a sponsor or provide raffle prizes are urged to contact Irene at 209-808-2550 or on the internet at  More information about the tournament can be found at