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Uncommon Friends Foundation to hold ‘Glow in the Dark’ Golf Tournament

By Staff | Feb 8, 2009

The past year has been a busy one for the Uncommon Friends Foundation, and one more big event is on the way.
The second annual “Glow in the Dark” golf tournament will be hosted by the Uncommon Friends Foundation on Friday, Feb. 27 at the Riverbend Golf &
Riverclub in North Fort Myers, to benefit the organization’s character education program.
Individuals and foursomes are encouraged to register to participate in the nine-hole event. Golfers of all ages and skill levels are welcome, and golfing skills are not required–just a sense of humor, said officials.
“You don’t have to be a great golfer; it’s more for fun,” said Angela Katz, marketing/membership coordinator for the foundation. “My night game is about the same as my day game, in that manner no one can see it. In addition, if you don’t want to play you can purchase a dinner ticket and participate in auction and raffle as well, and we have some wonderful items.”
She said the theme of the event is “Come out and Play.”
“We’re highlighting all of our area local attractions and restaurants, encouraging and supporting all of the things we have right here at our fingertips,” she said. “We have donations from North Fort Myers, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel and Captiva. We have tickets from the Everblades, Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, the Shell Factory, the Miracle, Twins and more.”
The individual entry fee is $85; foursomes may play for $320. Registration for the event will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served from 6 to 7 p.m.
The shotgun start begins at 7:15 p.m. The registration fee includes dinner and “glow in the dark” golfing equipment with a wide variety of prizes. Sponsorships are available for individual holes, prizes, carts, and the dinner. Items are also being sought for raffle prizes and to be included in “goody bags” for attendees.
North Fort Myers area business leaders Tom and Kerrey Hoolihan are owners of the golf course, and extremely active board members with the foundation.
“It’s our passion,” said Tom Hoolihan. “We’re donating all the proceeds from the event to the program, and this is really an event, not just a golf tournament. It’s for people who can play as well as those who don’t play.
It’s a great dinner as well. Anyone who participated in the past has walked away saying they had a great time.”
Hoolihan said he and his wife “truly believe in the mission of the Uncommon Friends Foundation.”
“The Foundation was formed in 1993, and it’s primary focus is a character education foundation whose mission is to instill ethics, moral values and a sense of purpose in tomorrow’s leaders,” said Executive Director Arlene Roth.
She said The Uncommon Friends Foundation character education program includes teacher training to use the foundation’s curriculum and provides recognition to teachers who utilize the curriculum. The curriculum comprises lessons about the personal traits of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford,
Harvey Firestone, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindbergh. Fort Myers Beach resident James Newton wrote of these unique individuals in his book, “Uncommon Friends.”
She explained further that the foundation is dedicated to enriching society by promoting the positive values of Newton’s friendship with these five men and their wives. The non-profit foundation is a joint venture among Lee County, the City of Fort Myers, and The School District of Lee County. It is also used throughout the Collier County school system.
“We’ve had a big year,” Roth said. She talked about the organization movin to the historic Burroughs House just across the Caloosahatchee River from
North Fort Myers. “We’re just coming off of Holiday House, which was a project of the Uncommon Friends Foundation and The Fort Myers Woman’s Community Club, where the Burroughs House and The Lansford-Kingston Home were decorated top to bottom, inside and out. We had over 10,000 visitors in the two week period it was open.”
A prominent speaker also brought them headlines. “We had Tom Brokaw as the first speaker to launch our Legacy Speaker Series in November. We’re going to have a second speaker here at the Burroughs House on March 8, Harlan Twible, who is one of the last living survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. He has an amazing story of courage to share.”
“Now we’re off to ‘Golfing in the Dark.'”
Dr. Pat Archambault is the coordinator of character education for the
foundation. “Our character education program is focused on providing training and materials for educators at all levels. We’re focused obviously on furthering the mission of Uncommon Friends. Character eduction is required by the state of Florida to be taught in schools K-12 and our program provides a valuable resource for teachers to meet those requirements.”
She said recent training programs have been well received.
“We just had a training for educators on a recent Saturday morning and over 50 attended. We’ll have another in Spring of 2009 and in the fall. An important part of our charter education is recognizing teachers who use our curriculum with particular skill, hence our Character Eduction Award Dinner every November. It’s filled with ideas and activities,” she said. “The other piece we find that’s critical is that the public as a whole is concerned in the character development of our youngsters. We’re proud to be a resource to install a strong sense of values and character development.”
She said they do all training at no charge to teachers, so their fund raising efforts – like the golf tournament and dinner – are critical to continue the character education initiatives.
Additional information about the “Glow in the Dark” golf tournament and the
foundation may be obtained by calling 337-9505 or visiting: uncommonfriends.org.