As 8 a.m. struck Saturday, Sept. 19, a slew of golf carts exited the Myerlee Country Club with more than 40 golfers eager to participate in the first annual Golf Tournament to benefit Wounded Warrior Anglers – Southwest Florida Region.
“I have some things in my head if they want to do this again that will hopefully make it a little better,” Camp said. “It’s about raising funds and having fun. As far as I know, everybody had a good time. ”
Justin Juha, owner of Bobbin Pools in Cape Coral, was among one of the golfers who showed their support. He said he decided to form a team – Marc Barbato, Mike Danielewski and Tom Ciaverilla – after one of his customers invited him to play in the scramble.
The group’s texts began about two weeks ago as the excitement grew about the outing Saturday.
Although they did not know anything about the organization before attending, Juha and his teammates had a blast out on the golf course, knowing they were supporting Wounded Warrior Anglers.
Bobbin Pools won first place, a $200 prize, which was donated back to the organization.
The second place winners, Team 14, which was comprised of Antoine LaChapelle, who has donated his time to take Wounded Warrior Anglers members out fishing for the past three years, Jeremy Johnson and Jill Dean.
“I like playing golf and I like to participate in any fundraisers for the organization,” LaChapelle said.
His team won $100.
Wounded Warrior Anglers Board Member Kevin Santos also participated in the golf scramble with his team Coastline Boat Lift Covers with Pete Paskewicz,Tom and Terri Sobeck.
“I think it’s pretty good for our first time,” Santos said of the turnout. “I think we are all having a good time. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Team Coastline Boat Lift Covers won third place, a $60 prize, which was donated back to the organization.
“I love it,” Terri said shortly after the tournament began out on the green. “It’s been a great day.”
She said she thinks Wounded Warrior Anglers is a fantastic organization that does a lot of good for the community.
Prizes were also provided to golfers who hit the ball closest to hole 6, John Tedesco and hole 14, Ann Johnson.
Tom Ciaverilla walked away with a prize for hitting the longest drive at hole 4, and Louise Cannizzaro won a prize for hitting a straight drive at hole 9.
Camp recruited many volunteers for the golf scramble who helped with the live auction and 50/50 raffle that was set up inside the clubhouse. Those volunteers included Barbara Camp, Mary Kay, Bentley Heylinger, Frank DePace, Rich Laudermilk and Charlie Greenholdt.
The live auction generated $730 for the organization.
Camp said they sold $185 in mulligans and had $445 in the 50/50 raffle sold before the scramble began. The players also had another opportunity to try their chances at winning the 50/50 raffle after they were done playing the course, increasing the total to $535.
LaChapelle won the raffle and donated the money back to the organization.
“The donation is just good karma,” LaChapelle said.
Greenholdt joined the Wounded Warrior Anglers – Southwest Florida Region after moving to Cape Coral full-time almost a year ago after he learned about the organization from his neighbor Camp. The disabled veteran served in the United Sates Army for three years during the Korean War.
“This is great,” he said Saturday morning. “I’ll certainly volunteer and do what I can. It’s a great group of people.”
The Wounded Warrior Anglers became a way for Greenholdt to get to know other veterans, while enjoying one his favorite hobby’s – fishing.
Every two months, the Southwest Florida Region chapter pulls two or three membership cards out of a hat for a fishing outing.
“It’s a great bunch of guys,” he said, adding that Wounded Warrior Anglers is the only organization he belongs to.
“I love it,” Heyliger said about the organization. “I think it’s nice to be together with a brotherhood. Here you know you got real friends.”
Wounded Warrior Anglers is a nonprofit organization that helps rehabilitate the mind, body and soul of all service members who have been injured, wounded, or disabled in the line of duty no matter what their era of service. The organization also has a mission to actively support the wounded warrior’s caregiver and their immediate family.
All photographs are courtesy of Dorene Lowe Photography – a Southwest Florida photographer out of Punta Gorda, Florida. To view more of her photographs, visit https://www.facebook.com/dorenelowephotography, or to schedule a session, call (941) 467-5015.
Article written by Meghan McCoy, Wounded Warrior Anglers media board of director