It seemed like old times on the golf course Saturday as residents came out to support the Marco Police Foundation and the island’s “boys in blue.”
“People play this tournament every year. It’s on their calendars,” said Bill Morris, president of the foundation.
Many of the 88 players competing at Island Country Club were Marco Island’s most recognizable names: Tony Ionnata, Bob Holm, Curt and Jacquie Koon, Gavin Donaghy, Dave Stonier and Greg Hill to name a few.
“These guys know how to play in humidity and heat,” said player Jennifer Shanahan. “But more importantly, they know how much the Police Foundation does for the Island.”
Several patrolmen and officers arrived to cheer on players before the morning’s shotgun start. Police Chief Don Hunter and retired chief Thom Carr shared pleasantries and shook hands with players to thank them for their support.
Appreciative of the foundation, Officer Al Schettino, the Police Department’s school and community resource officer, explained the help he gets in his job from foundation fundraisers.
“Every year, they (the Police Foundation) supply glow-in-the-dark wristbands to children on Halloween. It gives drivers better visibility and the kids are safer that evening,” he said.
“Two months ago, we gave four students college scholarships, too,” said Morris.
“And department members’ kids receive scholarship money through the foundation,” Schettino added.
Competitors shot it out all morning scoring points based on the tournament’s “best ball” format. In the end, two teams tied for first place requiring other factors such as “best front nine” and “best back nine” scores to break the tie.
Awards were given at a luncheon in the clubhouse; and during lunch, Chief Hunter spoke a few words of praise for the foundation.
“I’ve said it before; the foundation is the backbone support system for the men and women of the department. They know their families will be cared for if they don’t come home.”
Chief Hunter also praised his predecessor, retired Chief Carr, for leaving the department in good shape and making the transition a smooth one.
Shawn Shea won men’s longest drive and closest to the pin. Jody Taylor won women’s closest to the pin with Jennifer Shanahan winning women’s longest drive.
Overall tournament winners were:
Third place with a score of 59 – Curt and Jacquie Koon, Nick Donatelli and Jim Rose.
Second place with a score of 56 – Richard and Jennifer Shanahan, Jim Higgins and Kevin Morton.
First place with a score of 56 plus tie-breaking considerations – Scott Gibbs, Marc Canady, Shawn Shea and Brian Day.
Golf tournament committee members were Kevin Donlan, Curt Koon, Joe Granda, Dick Shanahan, Debra Sanders, Mike McNabee, Dottie Weiner and Officer Schettino.
“All proceeds will go to support education and any needs police officers may have,” said Dick Shanahan, the foundation’s vice president.
The Police Foundation’s next fundraiser will be a Rib Cook-off on Oct. 1 at Marco Island Brewery in Marco Island Town Center. Activities start at 3 p.m. with rib judging at 6 p.m.