At CDZ’s core, we are a company that cares not only for our clients but our community. The JT Townsend Foundation is so close to our heart that we couldn’t help but be involved in the first annual Champions for Hope Golf tournament. The tournament benefited the JT Townsend Foundation and pancreatic research funding for The Mayo Clinic.
The Champions for Hope Funk-Zitiello Classic came together from friends Tommy Zitiello and Fred Funk. Champions Tour player and 2005 PLAYERS Champion, Fred Funk, and Jacksonville businessman Tommy Zitiello first met in 1993 as next-door neighbors. Tommy established the infamous Funks’ Punks fan club to follow and cheer on Fred while playing on the TOUR.
As the years past, Fred and Tommy saw the incredible spirit in the Funks’ Punks. They knew this crew could channel that spirit into serving those who were struggling in our community. This is when Fred met a young high school senior who was paralyzed from an accident at a football game: JT Townsend.
JT Townsend changed both Fred and Tommy forever. What started as a neighborly effort to help a local Episcopal High School student with a wheel-chair accessible home grew into a lifelong mission to support and aid those dealing with tremendous obstacles. Along with JT, they created a foundation built around aiding the First Coast community who stood by JT’s side during his recovery. Though JT passed away in 2013, the charity’s doors remain open to carry JT’s legacy forward.
So, to continue in supporting the JT Townsend Foundation, Champions for Hope was founded. The tournament weekend included a Friday evening Gala, hosted at TPC Sawgrass. A dinner, silent and live auction and performance by the Chris Thomas Band made for the perfect evening. Over 200 guests attended the Gala, and more than a dozen local celebrities attended over the weekend. The charity gala and golf tournament raised $881,000.
At CDZ, we are so proud to have been a sponsor for such an incredible event. So many families will now benefit from the funds raised at Champions for Hope. Bring a part of making this event happen is a wonderful testament to what CDZ stands for. We love our community!
Read more about the Champions for Hope Golf tournament on the CFH website.
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