Stan Schachne led quite the charge in the fifth annual First Tee of Broward 100 Hole Golf Marathon Challenge.
The 62-year-old architect and general contractor from Davie raised $12,327, the most of anyone this year, as the three-day event netted a record $91,506 from 46 golfers and 871 individual donors. It far surpassed the previous highs of $47,000 and 27 golfers.
Golfers were encouraged to play 100 holes in a day. Most played 60 to 80 holes, but about 30 percent reached the century mark.
With 72 total donors, Schachne said he felt inclined to write a personal note thanking each and every one of them.
“I was really surprised that I raised the most money,” said Schachne, who got in 76 holes before lightning scrubbed the day. “I have participated in a lot of fund-raising groups and groups that give back to the community. This is a really great cause.”
The Golf Marathon was held for two full days in August at The Club at Weston Hills and the Country Club of Coral Springs. The third and final day was slated for September at Lago Mar Country Club, but was rescheduled for mid-October because of inclement weather.
Rounding out the top five money raisers were: Pembroke Pines’ Shelby Coyle, an assistant golf pro at Weston Hills ($8,362), Fort Lauderdale’s Adam Spiegel, a CPA ($5,961), Coral Springs’ Buddy Mansor, an IT salesman ($5,461), and Coral Springs’ Emma Leonardi, Director of Instruction at Lago Mar Country Club ($5,239).
Jack Bloomfield, First Tee of Broward’s Director of Operations, was pleased with the efforts of the golfers, especially during the pandemic.
“It’s incredible,” said Bloomfield, who netted $5,088 in his efforts. “The idea of losing some of our corporate partners because of COVID, which is totally understandable … to have the people’s family and friends step up is just amazing because we do need funding to keep our chapter going and the only way we can do that is with outside funding. The only way we survive is through corporate sponsors and individual donors.
“We started the first year (five years ago) with only five golfers at one golf course and we raised $9,000,” Bloomfield said. “The next year, we had two golf courses and 14 golfers. It has just grown to this year having 46 players and over 870 individual donations, which is really amazing. Our goals for 2021 is 60 players and raising $120,000.”
Leonardi was one of three females to participate, in addition to Coyle and Weston’s Lily Celentano, a junior at American Heritage High School in Plantation ($1,086).
“The members at Lago Mar were amazing and so supportive,” Leonardi said. “First Tee is a great program with a great message, teaching core values along with golf skills. It really is a great cause for juniors and also veterans. I really like their message and will always support their program because of that.”
She was also surprised at the total raised despite the pandemic.
“It was surprising considering it’s 2020,” Leonardi said. “We weren’t really expecting that. It is nice to see people still support these good causes even during the pandemic. With golf being one of the few safe activities during all of this, it was a great effort by everyone.”
“It is nice to see people still support these good causes even during the pandemic. With golf being one of the few safe activities during all of this, it was a great effort by everyone.”
Emma Leonardi, Director of Instruction, Lago Mar cc
Mansor, 60, played 100 holes at Country Club of Coral Springs. The $5,461 raised this year increased his total to nearly $22,000 in donations since he started playing in the marathons five years ago. He shot 455 for the 100 holes.
“It is very gratifying and satisfying, because I am doing something I love and it is for a great cause,” Mansor said. “Knowing that I can contribute and give back to people who are less fortunate or unfortunate due to illness or sickness, and the vets who gave their lives or risked their lives for our freedom is very gratifying.”
Mansor said it is nice to know that the program is far-reaching, from the veterans’ program all the way to the kids and how helps introduce the game of golf to them using the nine core values.
“The underprivileged kids, those who can’t afford the game of golf, will learn to play the game of golf,” Mansor added. “The autistic kids, kids with cancer, going to a camp and those kinds of programs … funding and scholarships, that’s where the money goes. Some of these kids who stick with the program through the years will get a chance at a college degree where they would have never had that opportunity or would have to work extra hard for it.”
David Vivies, 35, who lives in Coconut Creek, played for the second time. He played in it three years ago and has raised about $2,000 total.
“This is pretty cool,” Vivies said. “I love the program. I love the curriculum that they teach the kids. I love how they support the veterans. I love how it is about golf.”
Miami’s Jake Feldman, 14, of Miami, was one of two high schoolers to play.
“I think this is a great opportunity,” said Feldman, an American Heritage freshman who raised $2,446. “It is a great way to give back to the community and have fun while playing golf.”
There were some prizes handed out to closest to the pin contests during the three days. Matt Kaplan hit it to 11 inches on No. 17 at Weston Hills; James Hirschfield hit it to 9 inches on No. 18 at Coral Springs; and Feldman hit his tee shot to 6 feet, 8 inches on No. 17 at Lago Mar.
First Tee volunteer Rob Bartholomew spent all three days driving the courses to helping dish out the snacks and beverages that kept the players going.
Davie’s Drew DiAlberto not only fundraised by playing 101 holes at Weston Hills, but also he assisted Bloomfield with both golf events by bringing in golfers.
DiAlberto, 38, was playing in the marathon for the first time in addition to serving as the chairman.
“It’s been an adventure,” said DiAlberto, who raised $1,875. “All I want to do is get the ball in the hole and move onto the next hole. The scoreboard for this one was raising money for the kids and the veterans.
That’s why I liked the charity when I first learned about it last year.
“You get to play a couple of really nice courses and hang out with some good people,” he added. “I think my value was the people I brought in. I brought in three people who were top 5 in the money raised. It worked out well.”