Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation Presents Record $1.7 Million in Grants to Four Local Children’s Charities
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation presented $1.7 million in grants to four designated charities of the 20th annual Nichols Cup tournaments and auction gala, serving abused and at-risk children in Southwest Florida.
The record-setting fundraising efforts were distributed at the Piper’s annual meeting on March 29 among the Foundation’s two primary charity partners, Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida and Abuse Counseling & Treatment, and additional beneficiaries Blessings in a Backpack and Liberty Youth Ranch.
Founded by longtime Fiddlesticks resident Bobby Nichols, winner of 14 PGA Tour tournaments, the PGA recognizes the Nichols Cup golf tournament as one of the most successful community sponsored Pro-Am tournaments in the U.S. Since its inception 20 years ago, the Nichols Cup golf and tennis tournaments and auction gala has raised a total of more than $15 million to benefit local children’s charities.
“It’s amazing what this community can accomplish when we do it together,” said Nichols. “The support this event has received in just 20 years is incredible, and clearly shows how important these causes are for abused and at-risk children in our region.”
Awarded a total donation of $600,000, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida (CAC) provides a coordinated response to child victims of abuse and neglect and improves the lives of at-risk children and their families through prevention services. The organization received a $100,000 grant designated for a new program that will provide education, awareness and training to prevent child abuse and neglect. The CAC will also consider naming the program, Kayla’s Klub, to recognize Fiddlesticks board member Kayla Peck, who shared her personal story of overcoming child sexual abuse at this year’s auction gala.
Abuse Counseling & Treatment (ACT) was also granted a total donation of $600,000. The organization serves victims of domestic violence and their children as well as survivors of sexual assault in Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties. With a one-time grant of $100,000, ACT will hire two new additional therapists to expand its kid’s outreach program to better serve the needs of the community.
The Foundation awarded a $156,000 grant to support Blessings in a Backpack and their ongoing mission in Southwest Florida. The nonprofit provides underserved children with backpacks filled with kid-friendly, ready-to-eat food items to take home every weekend during the school year. Liberty Youth Ranch, a charitable organization based in Bonita Springs, also received a $155,000 grant. The long-term children’s residential group home serves abused, abandoned, neglected and homeless children.
“Just as an automobile has many parts, all of which work together to put the vehicle in motion, our Foundation has many talented and committed people who put many activities into motion to serve a greater mission,” said Bryan Simmering, vice president of the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation and Fiddlesticks resident. “This year, we are excited to announce that the Foundation will identify an additional abused and at-risk program to award a special one-time grant over the next several months.”
The Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation was founded in 2002 by a group of Fiddlesticks members, known as Pipers, who volunteer to organize and run the annual Nichols Cup Pro-Am Golf & Tennis Tournaments. The annual tournament recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of golfer Bobby Nichols, a longtime resident of Fiddlesticks and winner of 14 PGA Tour tournaments including the 1964 PGA Championship and 1974 Canadian Open. Since the formation of the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation 20 years ago, more than $15 million has been donated to local children’s charities. To learn more, visit NicholsCup.org or call 239-633-4579.