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On an unusually cold blustery mornings, 73 shooters with a two-fold mission competed in the third annual Bill Rose Memorial Sporting Clay Classic at Port of the Islands Gulf Coast Clays, raising $50,000 for the Marco Island Academy, the island’s public charter high school.

“We were looking for a way to memorialize the late Bill Rose, who was bigger than life, and also have the Marco Island Academy involved in it,” said organizer Terry McCreanor.

“The family turned down golf because Bill hated golf,” said McCreanor, who was a friend of Rose’s. “He suggested shooting clays and the family agreed that Bill would like that.”

McCreanor has been the benefit organizer since it began three years ago.

“Every year we try to make the shoot better and better.,” said McCreanor. His wife, Andrea, was score keeper for Myrt Rose’s team.

“People who would have never known about the school have been introduced through this shooting event,” said McCreanor. “So it has really worked well, and it is a nice event for the school to get better known by the public on Marco Island.”

Many of the shooters in this year’s contest are professionals who compete around the country and competed on Saturday because they knew it was for a good cause. The entry fee was $200, which included the ammunition, lunch and a live auction.

One new feature was the addition of Katie Saunders singing Amazing Grace at the lunch when the shooters finished the course. Jeff Saunders and his wife, Katie, support Morgan Stanley. Jeff is with Pioneer Investments. They came down from Tampa so Katie could sing.

This was the first year the Marco Island Police Department was at the shoot, with a team sponsored by Bill Young.

Announcing the high-point winning teams, McCreanor teased, “I don’t know how safe we are going to feel from this point on Marco Island, but the fire department did out shoot the police department.”

One big surprise to the Rose family was a presentation and the announcement that the Marco Island Academy naming its history classroom in honor of Bill Rose.

Academy chair Jane Watt made the presentation to Myrt Rose and Bill Rose’s daughter, Sue Vandenbergh.

“I feel like we have exceeded in the shoot every year, but this year was especially meaningful because we had the opportunity to honor Bill Rose with a permanent naming right at our school. It is especially fitting for Bill Rose’s legacy to live on on Marco Island,” said Watt.

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