Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Country Western, Marco-Style


Julia Fairbanks, Craig Maly, Julie Maly, Ric Maly and Tish Champagne added to the festive atmosphere. Photos by Don Manley

Julia Fairbanks, Craig Maly, Julie Maly, Ric Maly and Tish Champagne added to the festive atmosphere. Photos by Don Manley

A man was heard singing “I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande” as he and a bevy of others moseyed on in to the Island Country Club all decked out in their best western finery.

The occasion was the Marco Island Country Club Charitable Foundation’s Country Western Night, which closed out the organization’s annual golf classic. The dual events form one of two annual fundraisers held by the foundation, which provides financial support for charities located on and near Marco Island to enhance the community’s quality of life.

The foursome of Bill and Chris Laimbeer, Paul Kaplan and Brenda Eunson finished second in the golf classic.

The foursome of Bill and Chris Laimbeer, Paul Kaplan and Brenda Eunson finished second in the golf classic.

Professional golf legend Fuzzy Zoeller was on hand for the classic, socializing, posing for photos and even taking one shot at a hole for each of the 34 foursomes who took part.

“It was terrific,” said Gary Landis, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors. “We had a full field. It didn’t rain this year. It poured rain last year so we feel very fortunate. It was a good day.”

Pat Rutledge, John Boehner and Ann Landis taking time to chat.

Pat Rutledge, John Boehner and Ann Landis taking time to chat.

Held recently, the Country Western Night included a sumptuous assortment of foods from the club’s kitchen, awards, silent and live auctions, a raffle and live music. In all, $70,000 was raised for organizations the foundation supports, such as Marco Island Academy, Avow Hospice, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, the Shelter for Abused Women and Children and Books for Collier Kids.

“We’re here for the foundation and to support it,” said Julie Maly, while sporting a stylish cowboy hat and boots and jeans. “This club means a lot to many people ‘off the island’ and on the island.”

Katy O’Donovan and Russell Adams check out the final results.

Katy O’Donovan and Russell Adams check out the final results.

Neither she nor her friend, Tish Champagne, took part in the golfing, but they weren’t going to miss that evening’s festivities.

“The club really pulls together, especially this year with (Hurricane) Irma,” said Champagne. “They really have gone on all-out to help people, including Everglades City and Immokalee. Even people who don’t golf are here because of that.”

Among the throng enjoying themselves at the Country Western Night was former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner.

Gary Landis prepares to announce the top three golf classic finishers.

Gary Landis prepares to announce the top three golf classic finishers.

“The Island Country Club is a great institution and the purpose of today’s event is to raise money for local charities, so I’m here, simple as that,” he said.

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