Golf tourney to benefit Cape motorcycle officer
Spacebox Storage of North Fort Myers is sponsoring a Charity Golf Playday, a four-person team best-ball scramble, at noon Oct. 24.
Proceeds will benefit recovering Cape Coral motorcycle officer Damien Garcia.
On June 2, Garcia was involved in an accident on Cultural Parkway when he was struck by an SUV.
Spacebox Storage manager Steve Shortino became involved when he learned of the outstanding bills Garcia and his family are having to deal with during the officer’s recovery.
Shortino is no stranger to charity events. A fixture in the North Fort Myers and Cape communities, he said he saw a need to organize the benefit.
He has personally done 15 charity golf benefits in the last 20 years, and offered to do one for Garcia.
“Also, Spacebox Storage donated $4,700 last year to Officer Andrew Whitman’s wife and children through a promotion for the officer,” Shortino said. “The biggest thing is Spacebox Storage believes in community involvement.”
He has also donated space to the officer while he is in rehabilitation.
The event will take place at Royal Tee Golf Club on Pine Island Road.
For $100 per player, the event includes golf cart, lunch, beer, soda, goody bags, practice range, door prizes, contests, steak dinner and chance to win $5,000 cash for a “Hole n’ One on any of the par-3s.”
Shortino is also inviting non-golfers to the event.
“If someone would like to come to the awards dinner/after-party only, we can reserve them a table and will sell dinner only tickets for $35 each,” he said.
“We’re already getting some interest, even though there are a lot of events going on. We’re competing against a lot of events, but ours is a premier event,” Shortino said.
The after-party starts at 6 p.m. at Coconuts Waterfront Grill on Hancock Bridge Parkway. It includes either a chef’s steak or chicken entree, appetizer, salad, rolls, soft drinks and dessert.
“Plus, they can participate in the raffle drawings, auction and party with the band Smack Daddy from 8 p.m. to midnight,” he said.
“We’re currently looking for golfers and hole sponsors. Local businesses and individuals can sponsor a hole for $100, for which they will receive signage at the golf course and become a Gold Sponsor at the awards banquet at Coconuts. We’re also looking for door prizes, gift certificates or auction items,” Shortino said.
Garcia’s mother, Lili Garcia, gave this update for the community:
“Damien is doing well. He is in rehab at Ryder Trauma now and has a very intense schedule of therapy. His therapists are all wonderful. Damien is learning to walk and is strengthening his legs with the physical therapist.
“He is learning to use his arms and hands with the help of the occupational therapist, and he is learning how to swallow correctly so he can eventually eat solid foods with the help of the speech therapist. He has said several words and surprises us with his perseverance and humor. He actually cheats at Thumb War.
“He answers questions with his fingers or writing, or a nod of the head. He continues to progress slowly, but surely. It is a long road to recovery, but a road none the less. The staff at Jackson Memorial Hospital are all wonderful.
“Damien understands all that is said and at times is frustrated, however, he knows that all his hard work will pay off. He is supported by his entire family and is never left alone.”
Major sponsors for the golf tournament include the Pearl Lounge and Stevie Tomatoes of Cape Coral.
For Pearl Lounge general manager Lisa Maglioni, the fund-raiser is personal. Her husband is a motorcycle officer, and she knows Garcia well.
“It’s a very dangerous occupation,” Maglioni said. “But we do want to let the community know his daughter, Gianna, is doing well and is well taken care of. If anything, we need them to help with his extensive expenses.”
On Nov. 7, Pearl Lounge will hold a calendar signing — the calendar is composed of police officers who posed to raise money for Garcia. The calendar is $10.
“What we are trying to do is make sure money is set aside for anything Worker’s Compensation doesn’t cover,” she said, adding that includes family travel to be with him while he recuperates.
Contact Shortino at 839-3303 to become a major sponsor, sign-up a golf team, sponsor a hole for a business, donate a door prize or to make a monetary contribution.