By LOIS KINDLE
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Fringe Benefits Salon owner Amanda Marrero is bringing back The Road to Recovery Golf Tournament, April 23. She started the fundraiser in 2015 to help her parents pay for her brother Jared’s huge medical bills and the intense physical therapy he required after a car struck the motorcycle he was riding and left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Almost seven years later, those expenses continue..
Once doctors thought Jared would never walk again, but he’s come a long way since the accident in 2014, said his mother, Suzanne Ramella.
“He’s still in a wheelchair, but he’s able to do so much more for [himself] than he ever thought he could,” she added, noting he drives, using special hand controls and plays golf, thanks to Summerfield Golf Club, which provides him with a ParaGolfer, a mobile chair that allows him to stand and swing a club.
“He has to continue his physical therapy and see a neurologist and other specialists, has taken Ticket to Work job training through the Social Security Administration and is currently looking for work,” she said.
Although the costs have diminished somewhat over the years, they remain considerable. The Road to Recovery Golf Tournament helps defray those costs.
But that’s not the only reason Marrero organizes and hosts the event. A large portion of the proceeds now goes to Tighten the Drag Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization improving the quality of life for folks with spinal cord injuries.
“My family and I felt it was important to give back to this organization for reaching out to us and guiding us through the beginning stages of this new life,” she said. “Tighten the drag keeps me motivated. There are so many families out there who have no resources for raising funds for their expenses. I’m really blessed to be able to help.”
Sign up to play, sponsor or donate
This year’s event will take place at the Summerfield Crossings Golf Club, 13050 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview. Check-in is at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.
The $95 registration fee includes golf and a cart, lunch and beer on the course, dinner at the 19th hole party, raffle tickets and a personal cooler.
Awards will be given to first- and last-place finishers, longest drive for both men and women, the golfer closet to the pin and winner of the putting contest. Those who choose to pay to play blackjack at a designated hole on the course will have the opportunity to beat the dealer and move to the 150-foot marker on the next tee box.
Raffle prizes and silent-auction items will include multiple fishing charters, golf foursomes, gift-card trees, Latitudes dolphin tour, Bucs tickets, thermal hog hunt, assorted gift baskets and much more.
If you have a business and would like to become a sponsor, there are a variety sponsorships available with increasing levels of recognition. Thus far, the following companies are participating – Tony Brost Electrical Maintenance, Toy House auto repair, Sam’s Club, Circles Restaurant, Lands End Marina, Fringe Benefits Salon and Maverick’s Portable Restrooms.
“I’m really excited the tournament is back,” Jared said. “I’m thankful for everyone who plays, sponsors or donates and, especially, Jason Blanchard and the Summerfield Golf Club, Taylor Maynard (his soon-to-be fiancée) and my sister. We have two years to make up for, and I hope to see everyone there.”
“You don’t want to miss this one,” Marrero added. “Hands down, it’s the most affordable, fun-filled tournament in town. We always have a blast!”
To register for the tournament, sign up as a sponsor or donate a raffle or silent auction item, go to 6thround.eventzilla.net/; stop by Summerfield Golf Course, 13050 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview; or call Marrero at 813-967-5811.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Road to Recovery Golf Tournament
WHERE: Summerfield Crossings Golf Club, 13050 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview
WHEN: April 23, shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.
COST: $95, includes greens fee, cart, lunch and beer on the course, dinner at the 19th hole, raffle tickets and cooler
REGISTER/INFORMATION: 6thround.eventzilla.net/, 813-671-3311 or 813-967-5811.