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Golfers tee it up for charity at Chairman of the Greens tournament

PEMBROKE PINES — The 18 holes at Pembroke Lakes Golf Club filled up Feb. 8 with the debut of the Seminole Tribe’s first Chairman of the Greens Charity Golf Tournament, which drew 35 foursomes, or about 140 golfers.

Ildy Garcia chips the ball onto the 18th green. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

No team generated a hotter round than Big Cypress Councilman Mondo Tiger, Charlie Cypress, Ricky Doctor and Mateo Jimenez. Their score of 51 was three shots clear of the nearest teams. Doctor stamped an exclamation mark on the round on the 18th green, the team’s final hole of the day, when he sank a 20-foot putt for birdie. All four golfers received large gift baskets.

Prizes were also handed out to those at the other end of the scorecard spectrum. The foursome of John Nixdorf, Jessica Kopas, Tony Sanchez Jr. and Steven Osber carded a 78, the highest score, or at least the highest score turned in, but they didn’t leave empty-handed.

No matter what the scores were on the sunshine-filled day, Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr. emphasized that “everybody is a winner” because the tournament raised money for two charitable causes. Chairman Osceola told the golfers that the money will help the Native American College Fund and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

“With Native Americans, there’s a very high rate of diabetes, both type 1 and type 2,” said Tracey Paige, executive director of the South Florida chapter of JDRF. “The Tribe has been very generous to us in the past and had given us a very generous gift several years back. Since then, we’ve had a nice relationship through the hotel and casino and we’ve done a lot of work together. They’ve continued to support us in all of our efforts.”

Paige said the money raised from the tournament will go directly to supporting projects and raising awareness about diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes.

She said JDRF’s efforts also benefit the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes.

“On a national level, we have a very big advocacy effort,” Paige said. “Every year we go up and we work with the government to get dollars allocated to the special diabetes program of which both tribes in Florida are beneficiaries. They’ve benefited from almost five million dollars from the special diabetes program dollars allocated specifically to diabetes research for Native Americans.”

After the completion of golf and lunch, JDRF ambassador Sebastian Alcala spoke to the golfers about living with type 1 diabetes as a 12-year-old. He described it as “insulin dependent diabetes,” which he was diagnosed with at age 7.

“It’s a way of life. You have to live it, and deal with the ups and downs,” he said.

But he hasn’t let it deter him from playing soccer and the piano.

“It hasn’t stopped me from doing the things I love,” he said.

Sebastian urged the golfers to join him at the One Walk fundraiser April 6 at Nova Southeastern University.

From left, Charlene Owle, Miranda Motlow, Jim Owle and Gilbert King react to King’s putt that just missed the hole. They particiapted in the Chairman of the Greens Charity Golf Tournament on Feb. 8 at Pembroke Lakes Golf Club in Pembroke Pines. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr. is joined by Laura Lou and Ariana Silva from the Sagemont School golf team at the Chairman of the Greens golf tournament. Laura and Ariana were part of the foursome that finished in second place. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Cicero Osceola, who won a prize for the second longest drive, watches his drive on the 10th tee at the Chairman of the Greens tournament. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Sebastian Alcala, 12, talks to golfers at the Chairman of the Greens tournament about living with type 1 diabetes. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
The winning foursome of the Chairman of the Greens Charity Golf Tournament hold up their prizes. They are, from left, Ricky Doctor, Charlie Cypress, Big Cypress Councilman Mondo Tiger and Mateo Jimenez. They scorched Pembroke Lakes GC with a score of 51. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
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