Goofy Golf Benefits Non-Profits
*Edited January 15, 2020 to include participants Plaka’s and the FMB Community Foundation and that Nervous Nellie’s will have breakfast available for purchase.
Many island residents participated in a golf scramble fundraiser at one time or another, either in Southwest Florida or in their native communities back home. Fort Myers Beach has its own unique brand of a golf fundraiser, however, with the 10th Annual Putt & Pub Crawl, sponsored by the Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club and its associated Alliance For Non-Profits on Saturday, January 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with all scorecards submitted by 5 p.m.
The four-person teams make their way to 9 beach businesses that each sponsor one hole, competing for 1st and 2nd Place, the Duffer’s Award for highest score, Best Dressed Team, Best Team Name and Judge’s & People’s Choice Awards for hole sponsors, while supporting a like number of Fort Myers Beach Non-Profit organizations. There are raffles, drink specials, 50/50 chances and a Breakfast and Awards Dinner for $225-per-team.
Registrants check in at Nervous Nellie’s at 1131 First Street from 9 to 10 a.m. “Nervous Nellie’s will have breakfast available for purchase for all the golfers at that time,” related Janeen Paulauskis of the Barefoot Event Group, the spokesperson for the Putt & Pub Crawl. “Nervous Nellie’s offers drink specials to begin the day, and they will have a practice hole so everyone can loosen up their putting stroke. While checking in, be sure to purchase mulligans, as every golfer needs those! You can look over all the gift baskets the various non-profits will offer while there, and when the golfers head out to the course, we will transport those to the individual bars and restaurants.”
There is no formal order to the nine holes, “It is up to each individual team on when to play them,” said Janeen, “as long as you complete all nine by 4:30 p.m. Each hole sponsor will supply the club and golf ball for you, with a representative to record your score. Once you are done, head over to the Awards BBQ Dinner with music from DL Turner at the traditional parking lot location at 430 Old San Carlos Boulevard provided by island businessman John Richard from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with Awards from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Each establishment will offer a unique drink special and other surprises, but remember that the Town’s Open Carry prohibition remains in place, so participants cannot take any drinks from one hole to another.”
The businesses and matching non-profits are La Ola Surfside Restaurant with Turtle Time; Matanzas on The Bay with the Fort Myers Beach Friends of The Arts; Nervous Nellie’s with the Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club; Pete’s Time Out with the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival; Mango Rita’s with the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club; PierSide Grill & Famous Blowfish Bar with The Friends of Bay Oaks; The Salty Crab with the Fort Myers Beach Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization; The Whale with The Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve, Yucatan Beach Stand with the Fort Myers Beach Art Association and Plaka’s with Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation.
Mango Rita’s is a first-time Putt & Pub Crawl business participant, while the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve and the Fort Myers Beach Art Association are new non-profits. As for the golfing holes, Janeen reported a course rumor that “La Ola Surfside Restaurant in not only creating a brand new hole for this year’s Putt & Pub Crawl, but in the true spirit of giving that the event fosters, they will share this with Mango Rita’s, the first-time participating restaurant!”
Janeen encourages everyone to register in advance, “The Putt & Pub Crawl sells out almost every year, with well over 200 golfers joining in, so sign up soon at fortmyersbeach.org or receive a registration form through me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you pay by check, drop that off at the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce at 2450 Estero Boulevard.”
In addition to the fun-filled day and money raised for the island non-profits, the Putt & Pub Crawl has two tremendous traditions! “When registering your group,” explained Janeen, “we ask you to provide a team name and some really toe the line on good taste for a community event! So far this year, three teams have gone right up to that edge, but we were able to allow them to keep their choices! In addition to the colorful names, teams dress up in outrageous costumes that add to the uniqueness of the event. These things are what make the annual Putt & Pub Crawl such a goofy time that many people in the Fort Myers Beach community look forward to all year!”
All funds generated at each hole go to the sponsoring non-profit, including what they earn at each location through their gift basket raffles and 50/50 drawings, after expenses and a small amount to the FMB Woman’s Club for hosting the program. Janeen shared, “It is up to the individual non-profit what they will offer in their gift baskets and that is what makes each one a one-of-a-kind prize. When you know which ones you hope to win, simply drop your raffle tickets into the drawing box associated with each basket and we will pull the winners at the Awards Ceremony. If you would like to donate any prizes for the Putt & Pub Crawl, email me or drop them off directly at the FMB Chamber of Commerce and we will put your contribution to good use.”
The best part of the Putt & Pub Crawl for Janeen? “The community really comes together to benefit and support our community non-profits, all while enjoying a daffy island tradition. Now that the holidays are done and spring break is right around the corner, this is the last time that locals will really be able to participate in a light-hearted party before we all have to get down to business and the long days and nights of taking care of our seasonal visitors and guests, so join in on the fun!”