Charity golf tournament to feature top SWFL club players

The top private club golfers in Southwest Florida will soon square off in a new charity competition. The Coastal Club Classic brings together the two best qualifiers from 36 clubs around the region for a one-day shamble-style golf event to feed hungry children. It begins with a shotgun start on Friday, May 3 at the Club at Olde Cypress in North Naples.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Southwest Florida chapter of Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit dedicated to filling the gaps of the free and reduced-price school lunch program. Each player who takes part in qualifying will receive commemorative gear and is asked to make a $100 tax-deductible donation, enough money for the organization to feed one child each weekend of the school year.

“We’re known for our top-flight golf around here, but fewer people are aware of just how many Southwest Florida children go hungry,” said Cecilia St. Arnold, executive director of the local Blessings in a Backpack chapter. “We’re thankful to Scott Fischer Charities for hosting the Coastal Club Classic and designating us as the beneficiary. The event will raise awareness of the magnitude of the hunger crisis, as well as, the money necessary to address it.”

More than 60,000 elementary school students in Lee and Collier counties receive free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches during the week, but the federal program doesn’t cover them on the weekends. Blessings in a Backpack gives thousands of those children nutritious kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare meals each Friday afternoon to take home for the weekend.

Clubs interested in becoming one of the 36 to participate in the tournament can contact local Blessings in a Backpack Advisory Board member David Teets at 239-595-8066 or Merlin33159@comcast.net. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For more information on Blessings in a Backpack Southwest Florida, visit blessingsinswfl.org. Details about the Coastal Club Classic are at coastalclubclassic.com.