BY VICKY WINTERER – The Island School, a tuition-free charter school for grades K-5, held its 3rd Annual $1,000,000 Golf Shootout last week on a benign winter day at The Gasparilla Inn & Club’s golf course. The funds raised by this popular event are a vital component in providing financial stability for The Island School, Lee County’s first charter school.
The sold-out event featured 132 players and nearly 70 volunteers who participated in a par-3 scramble format on February 4 at The Gasparilla Inn Golf Club. Six-person teams competed for $10,000 hole-in-one prizes on 18 holes of play as well as a chance to qualify for the $1,000,000 shootout. The 18 players closest to each pin during the round of play competed in the $1,000,000 shootout, and Steve Raville of Boca Grande won the $10,000 awarded to the person closest to the pin in the final shootout.
Team prizes were also awarded. The first place men’s team was captained by Andy Krusen and included Richard Hadlow, Ross Hays, Bill Morton, John Murphy and Jerry Quinlan. The first place women’s team captained by June Wright consisted of Susan Hastings, Deb Martin Hughes, Nancy Ireland, Susie Wilson and Vicky Winterer. Their names will be added to the Archie van Beuren perpetual trophy at The Island School.
Howard Wise successfully beat three other qualifiers for a cash prize in the putting contest. Scotty Cameron putters were awarded to individual players closest to the pin on specific holes. They were won by Richard Hadlow, Jeff MacMillan, Karen McGovern and Jerry Quinlan.
The event was supported by many local sponsors, including The Gasparilla Inn & Club (Title Sponsor). Presenting sponsors included Ginny & August Busch, Sarah & Will Farish, Ginny & Pete Nicholas, Jeanie & Bayne Stevenson and the Hager family. The Harrison Foundation was the Million-Dollar Shootout sponsor. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida sponsored the putting contest. Hudson’s Grocery was the golf ball sponsor. Donna Moore – Gulf to Bay/Sotheby’s International Realty was the cart and scorecard sponsor. Mary Ann & Michael Van Lokeren were the player gift sponsors, and the Hager family sponsored the volunteer gift.
More than 40 other local businesses and families made vital contributions to the day’s success by participating as pin and hole sponsors. These sponsors attended the cocktail reception and watched the exciting shootout at the end of the afternoon. The financial generosity of these sponsors provided important support for the operating budget of The Island School.
This popular event has been scheduled for next year on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Many teams have already signed up to play again next year to once again support the educational mission of The Island School. Information is available at IslandSchoolGolfShootout.com.