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By admin | June 9th, 2011

2011 Florida Golf Tourney a success

Tournament Chair Red Carpenter issues instructions prior to the opening of the 2011 tournament. To his right are Don O'Neal and Hank Ehlbeck, Chapter Vice President.

After months of work by a “few good men and women” the USMCCCA Foundation’s Florida Golf Tournament went off without a hitch on Friday June 3 with a record 120 golfers tee’ing off at Davenport’s Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club.

Not surprisingly, the tournament also set a record for raising money for wounded Marines, and the Merit Awards and scholarship programs of the Foundation.  According to Chapter President and Tournament Chair Red Carpenter slightly more than $10,000 (after expenses) was raised.  This beats the $7,500 raised several years ago and is a testament to getting repeat sign-ups by a lot of well-satisfied golfers. 

As Carpenter said:  “Considering the number of golf tournaments being staged in central Florida during this month, the economy and the competition for golfers, I could not be more pleased.  Especially since many are friends that have been with us since we started this tournament seven years ago.”

USMCCCA National President Don O'Neal (seated) flew in from San Antonio for the tournament. Here he listens as Dick Hrebik © and Joe Judge discuss Hrebik's new book "The Warrior Among Us" at a pre-tournament happy hour hosted by Tournament Chair Red Carpenter (partially seen in background).

This year many of the golfers took advantage of a rate at a nearby motel and came in on Thursday night.  Many joined Red and other chapter members for “happy hour” and a special evening meal at a nearby restaurant.

The 4th Motor Transport Battalion Color Guard from Orlando opened the ceremonies. All but one of its members have had multiple deployments.

Tournament festivities kicked off promptly at 8 a.m. Friday with Colors presentation by the Color Guard of Orlando’s 4th Motor Transport Battalion.  Three of the four-man have had numerous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  The fourth member will be deployed this month as the Battalion again prepares for war. 

While Chapter member Gene Smith could not be present for the tournament, much of its success goes to him.  Gene is Assistant Tournament Director of the PGA Champions Tour and duties required him to miss the tournament.  Because of his many contacts throughout the professional golfing community he is able to furnish the tournament with many of the great door prizes and auction items that contribute to the Chapter’s financial success.   

And, speaking of auctions, Gregg Gaggliardi, our original host when the tournament began at the old Diamond Players Club in Clermont, and who is a great amateur auctioneer, volunteered to run the auction again this year and certainly contributed to our financial success.  Gregg is now owner of a company in Tampa that manages golf courses.

Carpenter was effusive in his praise for the small group of members who work so hard to make the tournament a success.  “Our chapter took this tournament on as a project eight years ago and we spend a good portion of our quarterly meetings in planning for its success.  Obviously, we are doing something right but we could not do it without our member’s help.  I especially want to thank Hank and Trudy Ehlbeck, Jack and Pat Paxton, Allen Moore, Kevin Doll, Charlie Ross, Kate Stark, and my wife Ann. — James “Red” Carpenter

Worker Bees - (from l) Pat Paxton, Trudi Ehlbeck, Kevin Doll and Ann Carpenter ran the check-in desk for the tournament. They were kept busy as the tournament drew a record 120 entries.


First Place Over 60 Division: (from l) Dusty Rhodes, Jim Paxton, Butch Rose and Bobby Jones walked off with their third straight first place finish in the Over 60 division.

First Place Under 60 Division: While two team members had to leave early, two others were awarded the first place trophies for the under 60 category. The team included Aaron Hammons, Scott Robertson, Greg Martello and Mark Colbath.

Second Place Under 60 Division: The team of Joel Cartori, Dave Jacques, Michelle Vinieratos, and Dave Colson captured second place.


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