FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation wrapped up its 20th annual Pro-Am golf and tennis tournaments, and auction gala at Fiddlesticks Country Club on Monday, Feb. 21, raising a record $1.7 million in net revenue and counting, bringing the 20-year total to more than $15 million in donations to serve abused and at-risk children in Southwest Florida.
The Foundation’s two primary charity partners are the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida and Abuse Counseling & Treatment. Additional beneficiaries include 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 US.
“We attract some of the greatest golfers for the Pro-Am, and it’s continued to grow over the years,” said Nichols. “Together with our neighbors we have raised $15 million, and every dollar has stayed local to provide services for abused children, even beds and shelter for children escaping an abusive home situation.”
Close to 500 people attended the Saturday night fundraising gala, virtually or in person, bidding on silent and live auction items. Top-selling auction items included a one-of-a-kind pendant with diamonds, tanzanite and brick from the Coliseum in Rome, donated by Mark Loren Designs; a sunset dinner cruise for 20 guests aboard the 144-foot “Driller II” yacht, courtesy of Tim and Sandy Youngquist; precision instruments for timekeeping from Ernst Benz; hand-crafted, luxury-quality, iconic handbags from BSWANKY; and a Masters golf package. Additionally, there was a direct plea for donations from baseball legend Johnny Bench, who emceed the event along with auctioneer Scott Robertson.
“We’re very blessed to have a wonderful community support us for 20 years now, allowing the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Foundation to give back to these charities who serve our mission to assist abused and at-risk children in our community,” said Bryan Simmering, vice president of the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation and a resident of Fiddlesticks.