Special Olympics Golf Classic at ChampionsGate a Sweeping Success

Special Olympics Florida The 8th annual Special Olympics Golf Classic presented by Publix was held at ChampionsGate Golf Club on May 15th and 16th. The sold out tournament was supported by more than 60 sponsors and raised a record amount of revenue for the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. The event kicked off with a reception Friday night hosted by MillerCoors and presented by Golf Channel.

More than 150 guests enjoyed great food and drink, and spirited competition. Master of ceremonies, Golf Channel’s Adam Barr, managed the evening’s events which featured four golf challenges: Putting Championship, Glow-in-the-Dark Long Drive Contest, Par 3 Team Championship and a Closest-to-the-Pin Shootout. There were many highlights, but the most impressive stroke was played by Paul Wise as he aced the 5th hole.

As players practiced Saturday morning, instructors from David Leadbetter’s Academy provided swing tips. Dr. Bob Winters of the Golf Channel delivered and inspirational message and, prior to tee off, a helicopter ball drop identified the winner of a complete set of Nike clubs. At dinner following the tournament, players participated in live and silent auctions and received awards.

Honorary Chairman Tom McLaughlin, Publix Lakeland Division Vice President, thanked all the sponsors for their support. The golf tournament is just one of the ways Publix Super Markets supports Special Olympics Florida. Public Super Markets is Special Olympics Florida’s premier year-round sponsor. With 37 years of continuous support, Publix is the longest standing sponsor in the history of Special Olympics Florida.

Publix’s support began in 1972 with an anonymous grant that sent Florida athletes to the Special Olympics World Games. Since then, Publix has expanded their support of Special Olympics to include all of the states in which it operates: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama. Publix Super Markets’ industry-leading hiring initiative of people with intellectual disabilities is a clear and important declaration of the value they place on the abilities of the population served by Special Olympics.

The most notable and most important contribution Publix makes to Special Olympics comes from proceeds raised through its annual sale of paper torches. Each January, thanks to the efforts of Publix associates and the generosity of its customers, funds are raised through the sale of these torches. Since the promotion began in 1994, Publix Super Markets has raised millions for Special Olympics athletes.


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