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Second Cedar Key Open golf tournament doubles last year's donation total to Cedar Key Library

By Sean Arnold

Sue Wooley, the president of the Friends of the Cedar Key Library, was stunned last year at the size of the donation to the library from the first-ever Cedar Key Open charity golf event.

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Last Wednesday, the Chiefland Golf and Country Club and the Big Deck Raw Bar hosted the second edition of the Open, and the amount of funds raised was doubled from the previous year.

“I was nearly speechless,” Wooley said. “And you can ask my husband, that’s a rarity.”

The scramble event, which included 20 foursomes of golfers competing under a crisp blue sky, brought in $5,376 to donate to the Friends of the Library.

The team of Pierce Kelly, Gary Gearhart, Jason Watts and Todd Carter prevailed with a 15-under-par of 57, while second place went to the team of John Ferguson, Ken Anderson, Tony Weeks and Ron Weldron, who combined to fire a 58. Third place, at 62, was a tie between the team of Hank Biede, Terri Biede, Virgel Harris and Terri Harris, and team Damn Yankees, consisting of Bill Wigend, Michelle Pyan, Don McMillian and Eddy Arnold.”

Nine businesses and individuals sponsored holes at the tournament, including Norm D. Fugate PA Law Firm; Drummond Community Bank; Pelican Realty; Big Deck Raw Bar; Sysco; The Market at Cedar Key; Dr. Robert E. Mount Jr., DDS; Mark Braun; and Cedar Key Eagles.

Old Fenimore, Nature Coast Realty, Sysco and Big Deck Raw Bar were team sponsors.

Eighty prizes were awarded thanks to donations from area businesses, said Joe Chambers, who co-chairs the event with Bob Piscura.

Along with sponsoring the event, the Big Deck also hosted the post-round festivities and provided a Low Country Boil dinner.

“Without (the Big Deck), it would have been a different story,” Wooley said.

“Bob Piscura and I wish to acknowledge and thank Bryan and Darlene Skarrupski of the Big Deck Raw Bar for being the tournament sponsor and ensuring a second very successful tournament,” Chambers said.

“A special thank you goes to Ricky Cook for donating his time and seafood for the Low Country Boil. The Chiefland Country Club and Tim Hart were instrumental in making the Cedar Key Open a success this year, and Betty Chambers was responsible for the signs, posters, tickets and all printed material.”

Wooley said the donation is especially welcome after the library suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Hermine.

“This is going to make all the difference,” she said. “The people of Cedar Key and the surrounding areas are the biggest hearted people I’ve ever known. We were more in need than ever and it was just a Godsend.

“We had a beautiful day, and people were in such a celebratory mood.”