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Charity Classic Golf Tournament and Gala celebrating 12 years of wish-making for kids

By Staff | Sep 24, 2009

The Everglades Region/Florida Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America will help make wishes come true for Southwest Florida’s most special children when it hosts the 12th annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament and Gala in October.

The Oct. 18-19 event benefits Wishing Well Foundation Inc. and Special Olympics.

The 2009 classic kicks off Sunday evening with a gala at a prestigious golf and beach club in South Naples. The event continues Monday morning with the golf tourney at Shadow Wood Preserve.

Tickets to the Charity Classic Gala are $100 per person and include cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and silent and live auctions. The Golf Tournament features a shotgun start and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and awards will be presented following play. Golf and Gala packages are $300 if purchased before Sept. 30, and $350 beginning on Oct. 1.

Since its inception in 1998, the Charity Classic has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for children with special needs in Lee and Collier counties. The fundraiser is especially important this year as many organizations report a decline in charitable giving due to the down-turned economy.

“We hope everyone will come out and support this wonderful event,” said Vicki Torbush, executive director of Wishing Well. “The Charity Classic is our largest fundraiser and has helped us buy laptop computers, send children and their families to Disney and Busch Gardens, and arrange meetings with sports heroes.”

Wishing Well, founded in 1994 by Naples and Marco Island residents, grants wishes and creates cherished moments for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Money raised and received by the group stays in Southwest Florida.

The group sponsored a 2007 trip to Washington, D.C. for 14-year-old Madison, who dreamed of meeting the White House chef and President George Bush.

“Madison and her family spent 15 minutes in the Oval Office and enjoyed a special behind-the-scenes tour with a Secret Service agent,” Torbush said. “She baked cookies with the White House pastry chef, met with Sen. Mel Martinez, had lunch in the Senators-only dining room and toured the capital. It truly was a wish of a lifetime, thanks to the Charity Classic.”

The CMAA is a professional association for managers of membership clubs. The Everglades Region chapter includes club managers and community leaders from throughout Southwest Florida.

Special Olympics, an international organization, empowers participants to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competitions.

To donate auction items, purchase gala tickets or register for the tournament, visit www.WishingWellFoundation.com/CharityClassic or contact Lori Cook North at either 239-287-0780 or lori@eventfulinc.com.