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Six teams are being sought for CROW Classic Golf Tournament

By Staff | Sep 12, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED The teams lined up for the shotgun start at the 2017 CROW Classic.

There are a half dozen slots still open for teams for the annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament, which is slated for next month at the Sanctuary Golf Club.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife Development Director Mary Schoeffel said animal ambassadors will be part of the event, which truly shows what the organization is about, given what is happening on Sanibel and in Lee County.

“We are up 11 percent on our patient load,” she said due to red tide. “Our two most affected species are the double crested cormorants and sea turtles.”

CROW has seen four times as many sea turtles this season from the previous seasons.

“Events like the golf tournament are critical to our funding. We are really excited that we have 13 teams absolutely signed up. We have six in the hopper. We really only have room for six more teams,” Schoeffel said.

PHOTO PROVIDED Scanlon Auto Group is providing a Lexus for the individual who hits a hole in one on the 200-yard par three on the water.

There is room for 25 teams.

The CROW Classic Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, at The Sanctuary Golf Club. Check in starts at 11 a.m., followed by boxed lunches served at 11:30 a.m. The shotgun start begins at 12:30 p.m.

“I hope that it happens as efficiently and wonderfully as last year,” Golf Co-Chair, and CROW Treasurer, Paul Ben-Susan said. “This tournament has received compliments in the past for how smoothly it runs.”

Those interested in registering can do so at www.crowclinic.org/crow-classic-golf-tournament. It is $1,000 for a foursome team. The registration deadline is Monday, Sept. 17.

Each player will receive a round of golf with a cart, a boxed lunch, $15 in CROW bucks for snacks and beverages, as well as a CROW Songbird Membership for One Year.

PHOTO PROVIDED Paul Ben-Susan chips his team onto the green at last year’s CROW Classic.

“It is really helpful for us to maintain the quality care that we provide our patients,” Schoeffel said of what the registration fee will go towards.

The tournament also includes a raffle with some wonderful prizes, she said.

“We want to make sure we have different prizes for folks and not all golf,” she said. Prizes include four tickets to the Florida Rep and gift certificates.

Tickets will be sold before the golf tournament begins and the winners will be announced following. There will be drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the 19th hole after the tournament.

Ben-Susan said the tournament also includes a hole-in-one prize for one of the toughest par 3 holes in Southwest Florida. Scanlon Auto Group is providing a Lexus for the individual who hits a hole in one on the 200-yard par three on the water.

PHOTO PROVIDED Wildlife is abundant on the Sanctuary Golf Course.

Schoeffel said this year marks CROW’s 50th anniversary. She said CROW is passionate about wildlife and committed to care and education.

“That is why we do what we do. We are passionate about wildlife. What has happened this summer is a perfect example of that dedication on part by the staff, volunteers and people that have helped to identify injured animals,” Schoeffel said.

She said it is important to identify animals affected by red tide in those initial hours because the sooner they receive treatment the larger chance of survival.

Ben-Susan said patients that are admitted to CROW cannot tell them what is wrong, which is why he is involved with the organization.

“I want to be sure that we can afford to give them the care they need. It is fundraising and making sure our donors know they are appreciated,” he said.

Five years ago Ben-Susan became a volunteer at CROW. A birder all of his life, he has had the opportunity to watch greathorned owls lay their offspring year after year in the Fort Myers subdivision he calls home. He said every year when the wind blows, the babies get blown out of their nest.

One year, a great horned owl offspring fell out of its nest and Ben-Susan picked it up and gave it a temporary home on his lanai for the night until CROW came the following morning.

“We re-nested the baby and I watched it grow up over the next six weeks. I was hooked,” he said. “It’s really been a fantastic experience.”

After CROW learned about his financial background they asked him to become the board of director’s treasurer.

“It’s a calling from where I sit, to be able to do this kind of stuff. It’s the second chapter in my life and quite an eye opener to get involved in an organization as special as CROW,” Ben-Susan said. “The people in the hospital who are our employees, as well as interns and volunteers, they really are passionate about wildlife and go on to become wildlife veterinarian worldwide. CROW has developed quite a following and there is a lot of respect out there with the people the hospital has trained over the last few years.”