26th Annual NU-HOPE Golf Tournament is another hit!

On Saturday, April 13th, blue skies and a cool, mild breeze greeted the 132 golfers who participated in the 26th annual NU-HOPE Golf Tournament held at Pinecrest Golf Club in Avon Park. The event was presented by Title Sponsors Insight Auctioneers, Martz Family Trucking and PROLAWN Maintenance.

The tournament, benefiting NU-HOPE Elder Care Services, is one of the longest running charity competitions in the county.  Funds raised are used to enhance services for seniors and caregivers in the local community.

“While this is a competition,” states Debbie Slade, Executive Director, “It is far more important than just playing a round of golf. The partnerships that rise from this event help us to better serve our community in many ways. Those who participate truly change lives. We are grateful for their support and do our best to make the day a memorable experience.”

Participants in the four-person scramble were divided into 4 flights.

Winning the 1st flight, with a team gross score of 58, was the team of Harry Gregor, Garvin Elkhill, Tom Fisher, and Michael London. Second place, with a team net score of 58, went to the team of Pat Taylor, Scott Hamilton, Perry Taylor, and Kevin Hamilton. The team with the 2nd best net score of 59 was William Cook, Jack Daily, Chad Lynn, and John Whitehead.

In the 2nd flight, first place gross went to the team of David Strait, Zach Doorlag, Jason Wall, and Randy Doorlag with a team score of 58. The top net score of 59 went to the team of Ricky Percy, TJ Wohl, Marty Wohl, and Jason Johnson. The 2nd net winning team consisted of Sean Garner, Chris Welborn, Kevin Welborn, and Cody Higgins.

For the 3rd flight, the team of Kyle Batz, Ethan Kinney, Rodney Littell, and Bob Boise had the top gross score of 61.  Awarded second for a top net score of 61 was the team of Jason Murphy, Joey Piccione, Shayne Fassler, and Kevin Stoll.  The team of Christopher Lillard, Michael Solorzano, Kurtis Ast, and Thomas Ast had the 2nd top net score of 62.

Winning the 4th flight, with a team gross score of 63, was the team of Robert Kennedy, Aaron Offret, TJ Kennedy, and Mike Kennedy. Second place, with a team net score of 60, went to the team of Ken Sides, Johnny Evans, Brian Mason, and Duane Lewis. The team with the 2nd best net score of 61 was Tyler  Berman, Joey Buchannon, David Burdick, and Jason Jordan.

The Longest Drive, sponsored by Duke Energy, was awarded to Joey Buchannon. Closest to the Pin, also sponsored by Duke Energy, went to John Ouellette.

Throughout the day, players were greeted by NU-HOPE staff at various snack stations and were able to enjoy a cool beverage, courtesy of Bowman Steel, the Beer Sponsor. After the tournament, players gathered at the Sandhill Grill to enjoy their famous angus burger platter, celebrate the winning teams, and try their luck at various raffles.

The NU-HOPE Golf Tournament is also well-known for its raffle, and this year was no exception.  Sponsored by Sapp Services, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union and City Electric Supply of Lake Wales, the raffle tables included over 71 prize baskets with prizes including gift certificates, a stay at the Residence Inn, grills, and even a new driver and golf bag donated by the Callaway Golf Foundation. The top raffle prize, donated by Shawn Martz, was a 3 night stay in a mountain cabin retreat, valued at approximately $800.

“Fundraisers such as the NU-HOPE Golf Tournament are so important, states Slade. “Every year, NU-HOPE must raise over $350,000 locally in order to provide critically needed services for seniors and caregivers. It’s important to note that every dollar stays here in our community. We’re neighbors helping neighbors.” 

The NU-HOPE Golf Tournament is traditionally held late spring, just prior to National Older Americans Month held each May.  Older Americans Month highlights the positive impact that seniors have on our communities, as well as focusing attention on the realities and challenges that many face as they age.  This year’s theme, Powered by Connection, emphasizes the need for seniors to be able to connect with each other and their community and avoid isolation.

“In the 48 years that NU-HOPE has served our community,” states Slade, “we have had one primary goal: to allow seniors to stay in their homes and live independently in their communities for as long as possible.

Slade adds, “Whether a senior connects with others through sports, by attending an activity center, or by bonding with those who provide services in the home, socialization affects our physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. NU-HOPE is currently exploring ways that socialization can be increased in our community. I am excited to announce that NU-HOPE now has Senior Meal and Activity Centers in Avon Park, Sebring, and Lake Placid. There, seniors can receive a nutritious meal, participate in great activities such as art and exercise classes, play games and connect with other seniors in our community- all at no cost.”

NU-HOPE Elder Care Services currently provides a variety of nutrition and in-home services, including home delivered meals and group dining centers; assistance with bathing, homemaking, and shopping; telephone based safety monitoring; respite and caregiver support; the purchase of essential supplies and crisis energy assistance.

“Each year we assist over 400 seniors with these services,” adds Slade. “It’s a great start. But meeting with the participants at the NU-HOPE Golf Tournament allowed us to get great feedback as to what else is needed or will be needed in the years ahead. It is exciting to live in a community with so many concerned members who truly want to make a difference. We look forward to building on these connections in the near future and making our community even stronger.”

For more information on ways to support NU-HOPE’s efforts or how to access services for seniors, please contact NU-HOPE at (863) 382-2134.

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