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Few slots remain for annual CROW Golf Classic

By Staff | Aug 26, 2015

Assistant Wildlife Rehabilitator Yvetter Carrasco; Attorney Jason Maughan; The Sanctuary Golf Club General Manager Ken Kouril; Sanibel Captiva Trust Company Executive Vice President Steve Greenstein; Medical Supply Company CEO Jeff Powers; Sanibel Captiva Community Bank President and Senior Loan Officer Craig Albert; CROW Development Director Nanette Scoville and Senior Wildlife Rehabilitator Willow Bender. MEGHAN McCOY

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife is seeking a few more foursomes that wish to participate in the 3rd annual CROW Golf Classic at the Sanctuary Golf Club.

“It’s one of our signature fundraising events,” CROW Development Director Nanette Scoville said. “We don’t take any government funding, so we rely strictly on the generosity of individuals, businesses, some private foundations and our fundraising events like the CROW Classic that is coming up in October.”

The golf tournament will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, with a deadline for registration of Tuesday, Sept. 1. Registration is $1,000 per foursome team. Golfers are encouraged to call Scoville at (239) 472-3644 ext. 232, or email nscoville@crowclinic.org to ensure a place in this year’s tournament.

This is the first year the CROW Golf Classic is being held at the Sanctuary Golf Club. The golf course borders J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge with 6,656 yards that winds around preserves and lakes while providing stunning views of Pine Island Sound.

“We are very grateful to management and ownership of the Sanctuary that they would honor us with hosting our event,” she said.

A boxed lunch will be served at 11 a.m., followed by an opportunity for the golfers to practice before the 12:30 p.m. shotgun start this October.

New this year is a helicopter golf ball drop, which is similar to a 50/50 raffle. Individuals will have the chance to purchase a numbered golf ball before it is placed in big buckets and delivered to the helicopter.

“The helicopter hovers over a green that is close to the clubhouse and drops all the balls on the green,” Scoville said. “The ball that falls in (the hole) is the winner. The winner keeps half and the other half comes to CROW.”

There are sponsorship opportunities available with great marketing benefits for the businesses for the helicopter drop. Sponsorships are $1,500 and include the choice of a helicopter ride for two after the ball drop or foursome, listing in the event program and a CROW annual membership for two.

The fundraiser will also include dinner, entertainment and a silent and live auction. Dinner tickets are $50 a person. She said individuals do not have to play in the golf tournament to enjoy dinner and its festivities.

Scoville said she is very proud to share that through corporate sponsorships made by many businesses in Lee County, all of the expenses to put on the golf tournament have been covered.

Due to the sponsors that have already committed to supporting CROW, money generated from registration, live and silent auctions and raffles will go directly towards CROW for its operations.

“It will be a very successful fundraiser for us,” she said. “Anyone signing up for golf is really supporting CROW.”

This year’s title sponsors are Lazy Flamingo and Sunset Grill.

In addition to providing golfers with the opportunity to play on the prestigious Arthur Hill designed par 72 golf course, she said the tournament also creates awareness of what CROW does for the area’s wildlife.

In 1968, CROW began out of Shirley Walter, the founder’s home, with more than 500 distress calls. It was not until 1980 that CROW was given 12 acres and the following year a wildlife clinic was constructed on the same property in which it is run today.

The Volunteer Emergency Rescue & Transport Program was formed in 1985 due to the increase in demand of its services. The first staff veterinarian was hired in 1987, as well as the installation of X-ray and surgical equipment.

With the increase in patient numbers, a veterinary internship program was formed in 1996 and a student fellowship program was formed two years later. Up to 50 students from around the world participate in the programs while developing a deeper understanding about conservation medicine and wildlife rehabilitation.

A student housing facility is located on the premises, as is a two-story state-of-the-art veterinary hospital.

More than 225 animals call CROW home every night. CROW cared for 3,422 injured, sick, orphaned animals in 2014. So far this year, 2,572 animals have been cared for.

To help care for the animals, the 12-acres includes 17 habitat enclosures where patients from the hospital receive habitat and behavioral enrichment, and test flights before they are released.

The nonprofit organization has more than 180 active volunteers. Some of the volunteers spend time picking up animals at different drop off points throughout Lee County.

Although CROW mostly provides services to Lee County, the efforts expands the area when providing care for sea turtles. The organization is the only licensed Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility between Sarasota and the Keys on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.