Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation awards $160,000 in special grants to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice and Pace Center for Girls, Lee

The Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation has named Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice and Pace Center for Girls, Lee as two additional beneficiaries of the 20th annual Nichols Cup tournaments and auction gala, awarding special grants of $160,000 to serve abused and at-risk children in Southwest Florida.

This year, Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation presented $1.7 million in grants to four designated charities of the 20th annual Nichols Cup tournaments and auction gala, serving abused and at-risk children in Southwest Florida. The record-setting fundraising efforts were distributed among the Foundation’s two primary charity partners, Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida and Abuse Counseling & Treatment, and additional beneficiaries Blessings in a Backpack and Liberty Youth Ranch.

“With the remaining funds raised through our annual charity event, our Charity Selection Committee has been searching over the last several months for additional programs that fit our mission to award two special grants,” said Bryan Simmering, vice president of the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation and a resident of Fiddlesticks. “We’re proud to announce these funds will go to support Catholic Charities and Pace Center for Girls of Lee County in their efforts to better serve the needs of our community.”

The Foundation is awarding a one-year grant of $75,000 to Catholic Charities to support their anti-human trafficking program. The donation will go towards covering the cost of another therapist for one year, allowing the program to increase its capacity of cases exponentially. Serving ten counties in Southwest Florida, the Diocese of Venice provides intensive case management and mental health counseling to all individuals who are the victims of severe human trafficking as they attempt to integrate into society after being rescued.

Receiving a one-year grant of $85,000, Pace Center for Girls in Lee County provides academic programs and counseling services to girls and young women ages 11 to 18 who are working to overcome risk factors such as poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, grief, mental health and physical, emotional or sexual abuse. After leaving Pace, 100% of students improved their academic performance, 96% had no involvement with the juvenile justice system within one year of exiting the program and 89% were either in school or gainfully employed.

“We are truly honored to be selected by the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation for this generous grant in support of our Reach Program services in Lee County,” said Jennifer Cellitti, executive director of Pace Center for Girls, Lee. “This donation will help us bridge the gap to care by bringing mental health support to girls at home, school, through their communities, and online.”

Founded by longtime Fiddlesticks resident Bobby Nichols, winner of 14 PGA Tour tournaments, the PGA recognizes the Nichols Cup golf tournament as one of the most successful community-sponsored Pro-Am tournaments in the U.S. Since its inception 20 years ago, the Nichols Cup golf and tennis tournaments and auction gala has raised a total of more than $15 million to benefit local children’s charities.

To learn more about the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation, visit NicholsCup.org.

About Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation

The Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation was founded in 2002 by a group of Fiddlesticks members, known as Pipers, who volunteer to organize and run the annual Nichols Cup Pro-Am Golf & Tennis Tournaments. The annual tournament recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of golfer Bobby Nichols, a longtime resident of Fiddlesticks and winner of 14 PGA Tour tournaments including the 1964 PGA Championship and 1974 Canadian Open. Since the formation of the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation 20 years ago, more than $15 million has been donated to local children’s charities. To learn more, visit NicholsCup.org or email info@nicholscup.org.

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