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Peete tournament a rousing success
October 25, 2017

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It's safe to say the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Foundation will have lots of scholarships to give to high school seniors when it's time for them to graduate.

That's because the inaugural Calvin Peete Classic at Magnolia Landing was a huge success, raising nearly $10,000 for the chamber, which it will give to worthy high school students looking to enter the world of business.

And while Calvin Peete, who passed away two years ago, couldn't be there, his wife, Pepper Peete, was, and she even grabbed a set of clubs and played a round with the 17 other teams that also played.

The event featured a $10,000 hole-in-one opportunity, a longest drive, raffles, silent auctions, featuring sports memorabilia with Calvin Peete, and a luncheon, during which county commissioner Brian Hamman presented a proclamation to Pepper, declaring Saturday Calvin Peete Day in Lee County.

"We're here to celebrate a man who not only contributed a lot to our community, but to the sport of golf," Hamman said. "This is a great event for the community to come together and its events like this that bring North Fort Myers back."

For $75 per player, or $300 per team, people got to spend a fun morning on the links for a good cause. Golfers could also buy two mulligans for $5 and a yardstick for $10.

The yardstick allowed teams to get closer to the hole, if need be, by a total of three feet. If an approach shot came within three feet of the hole, it would be like holing it out, saving a stroke.

Pepper Peete was joined by Mark Wildman, Bryan Avery and Penny Reynen, a friend of Pepper's. And while the guys scuffled around the course, it was up to Pepper and Penny to bail them out of trouble with either a nice approach shot or a one-putt for birdie.

Wildman and Avery declared themselves the "eye candy" of the foursome.

Wildman said he had a blast and thought he earned his keep even though it was the ladies who made the great shots.

"She is an amazing lady. She played great, was very sweet, she talked about Calvin and her kids, a little about golf and about life," Wildman said. "For me to come out there to honor Calvin and play with Pepper was a great opportunity."

Lenny Cannova, Chamber president, said he hoped everyone had a good time at the sold-out event. He was also glad for the money the chamber raised for scholarships.

"We pulled this one out of the hat. I introduced it to the Chamber board in February. We got the community involved and put it together quickly," Cannova said. "I would have been happy with 60 golfers, but having 72 today made me excited. Having Pepper here certainly added to the draw."

Cannova said he intends to do it again next year, with the goal of getting 100 golfers.

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