Golfers hit the Sharks Tooth golf course April 16 for the 12th annual Sacred Heart Charity Golf Classic — to raise money for a good cause and have fun doing so.
The beneficiary of the Classic is Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. This year's money raised is earmarked to go toward purchasing a PET/CT scanner to the hospital’s diagnostic and imaging services. The imaging system is especially useful in detecting and diagnosing cancer and monitoring cancer therapy and other diseases, including heart and neurological diseases.
Golfers consisted of 28 foursomes plus 28 pros equaling 112 golfers who paid entry fees of $1,250 per individual or $5,000 for a foursome. This year’s tournament featured local golf pros competing against one another while also playing with the registered foursomes. This format ups the competition while enabling players to interact with local pros. Sponsorship levels ranged from a $1,000 per Hole Sponsor to the $6,000 Birdie Sponsor.
Prior to the big day of golf, a pre-golf gala was held at the Sandestin Hilton's Emerald Ballroom on Sunday night. Approximately 180 golfers, guests, sponsors, and supporters attended and bid on auction items. Early tallies estimate more than $20,000 was raised that night through the silent and live auctions.
Early estimates for the total amount raised through the auctions and tournament is just over $150,000, said Sacred Heart's Sarah Bailey.
Since its inception in 2002, the Sacred Heart Charity Golf Classic has become the signature fundraising event for Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast and has raised $2.6 million. Bailey said its success is a direct result of the time, talent and resources of leaders in our community, including St. Joe Company, Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, Howard Group, Grand Boulevard, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Burnt Pine Golf Club, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa and more than 100 volunteers.
Over the years, the tournament has supported the hospital's surgery department, Olson Women’s Diagnostic Center, Family Birth Place, ICU, preoperative nurse station and the Judy & Steve Turner Heart and Vascular Center, and the Cancer Center.
Originally organized by a few Sandestin homeowners, tournament chairs for the past 11 years include Phil Hummel (’02), Jack McGill (’03), Charlie White (’04), Peter Burke (’05), Phil Spizale (’06), Mike Vorst (’07), Joe Ausley (’08 and ‘11), Joe Zito (’09), Chris Kelleher (’10), Michael Beam (’12), and Joe Johnston ('13).
For additional tournament information visit www.sacredheartemerald.org, call Sacred Heart Foundation at 278-3700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.