Golfers from Members Club at Marco gathered Thursday, April 22 at Hammock Bay Golf Course for the big event in their six-month campaign in support of The American Cancer Society and the Marco Island Relay for Life.
Members Club at Marco is a golf, tennis, and social club with full amenities at The Rookery at Marco, Hammock Bay Golf and Country Club, and JW Marriott Marco Island.
“This is the culmination of a season-long campaign that started back in November,” said Carla Craycraft, who has been a committee member for the past seven years. “We have over 250 golf members, plus social members, so probably around 1,200 people who are part of this club. We’re supporting the American Cancer Society Marco Island Relay For Life.”
Members Club at Marco has been working hard to achieve a goal of $125,000, but actually ended up raising $149,000, according to PGA Director of Golf Scott Lien. Thursday’s golf tournament was the culmination of a number of events throughout the winter season.
“The golf tournament is our highlight,” Craycraft said. “We did a bourbon raffle earlier this season. We did a raffle for dues, we’ve done Super Bowl squares. We’ve done all kinds of things like that.”
Craycraft was quick to say that while the members do a lot of the heavy lifting, they are buoyed by a number of local sponsors.
“We have a lot of local sponsorship,” she said. “I’m thankful for the generosity of our members. We have several members who really give back. That’s really nice to see. The JW Marriott is our top premier sponsor of this event. They’ve put a lot into it, including their staff. We have a couple of other big sponsors. Michelle Thomas with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty is one of our corporate sponsors. She’s out there on hole 17, doing work out there.”
Craycraft is a cancer survivor.
“Cancer touches everybody,” Craycraft said. “I’m a 27-year survivor of breast cancer. My husband and I are coachers. I’ve been on the committee since it started several years ago.”
Craycraft, who plays golf just about every day, feels fortunate to have two great courses at her disposal.
“They’re both fabulous courses,” she said of The Rookery at Marco and Hammock Bay. “And we share it with the JW Marriott guests and that works really well.
“I think the best way to sum up this tournament and the charity event we do all season long is that it’s the way our membership can give back to Marco Island. And we really like doing that. We support Marco.”
Sue Olszak of the American Cancer Society participated in the event and remarked about the purple shirts that were worn by many in attendance at the event.
“The purple shirts are being worn in the memory of Arne Sorenson,” Olszak said. “He was president and CEO of Marriott International. He lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. They’re all part of the Marriott family.”
Sorenson passed away on February 15. He was 62.