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It looked like the entire Marco Island community had come together to help the owners and staff at Rookies Bar and Grill to host what owner Bruce Bell jokingly referred to as its 125th annual charity golf tournament.

“This is the best example of what small town America is all about,” said longtime resident Tom Wagor. “The community coming out to help support a great cause.”

For years, Rookies has run a charity event, benefiting an individual or a family in need. This year was no different and they may have broken the record for attendees, with 144 players coming out for the cause.

“Although the golf is great, Bruce puts on a floor show back at Rookies that can’t be beat,” said Hayden Warren, a local contractor.

“If you don’t go away with a good laugh and feeling good there is something wrong with you,” said Linda Warren.

The recipients are never known to anyone until the after golf is finished and the players all converge on Rookies for cold refreshments and a buffet lunch, along with a few jokes from Bell, who acts as the master of ceremonies.

Kindness

This year, two locals were recognized for their courageous battles with cancer. Both Julie Broxson and Glenn Walton were chosen as the recipients of the kindness shown by the efforts of the Rookies staff and those who played.

Julie Broxson was diagnosed with breast cancer in September and has undergone surgery, chemo and radiation. As this was the last soccer game of the season, she was at the game with her kids, but her husband, Ross, and others in his family had come out to support the charity that would ironically benefit his family.

Ross Broxson would reach his wife by cell phone to give her the good news as he was surrounded by well-wishers who stood around him and congratulated both he and his wife on their good fortune.

Glenn Walton and his wife, Mary Quinton, both attended the benefit. He played with a foursome of friends.

Glenn Walton has been undergoing intensive treatment for prostate cancer, including chemo sessions.

Quinton was out on the course, taking photos of foursomes for the tournament and both had returned to Rookies for the after-golf festivities.

“This is just wonderful, I’m not sure I can ever thank all these wonderful folks,” said an emotional Glenn Walton while his wife looked on.

“The costs associated with having to deal with this type of health challenge in a family’s life goes far beyond that of what insurance covers,” said Debbie Broxson, sister in-law of Julie Broxson. “Out of pocket expenses can be a crushing blow to a family.”

“We don’t play to win in this tournament, we play to do what’s right for one of our own,” said Bell. “Today we had the pleasure of helping two families.”

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