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Family, friends honor life of Justin Campos

From left, Brenda Holdiness, Jimmy Wayne Holdiness, Junior Lozano, Paula Bowers Sanchez, Tony Sanchez and Richard Reyna, at the Justin Campos Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 24 in Ave Maria. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

AVE MARIA — Family and friends paid tribute to the life of Justin Campos at the eighth annual Justin Campos Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 24. Forty-four golfers, which comprised 11 teams, played in the tournament at Panther Run Golf Club in Ave Maria, a few miles from the Immokalee Reservation where Campos lived. It was organized by Campos’ father Jimmy Wayne Holdiness.

“Everybody has had deaths in their lives,” Holdiness said. “When you lose a kid, happy places are few and far between. The golf course was always our happy place.”

Campos, who was Holdiness’s first born child, was killed in prison in 2013 at age 28.

“He got into some trouble, but he was a good boy,” Holdiness said. “We used to play golf together from Miami to Pebble Beach. I loved him more than anything, more than anybody.”

The tournament is always a family endeavor. Holdiness’s step-daughter Priscilla Caseres, who was a lifelong friend of Campos, and his wife Brenda Holdiness help out every year. For this year’s tournament, Brenda Holdiness woke up at 4 a.m. to make 200 breakfast tacos for the golfers. Participants in the tournament included tribal members and some of Campos’s friends from his days at Immokalee High School.

Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr. has supported the memorial tournament since before he became chairman. He and Holdiness worked and played ball together in their youth.

“I support the tournament in memory of a tribal member,” Chairman Osceola said. “It’s his family’s wish to keep his memory alive.”

Winners were announced at a post-tournament luncheon. The first place winner was the foursome of Chairman Osceola, Bill Osceola, Fred Schreffler and Ben Schreffler with a score of 18-under par. The foursome of Holdiness, Chris Jensen, Raul Nunez Jr. and Daniel Anez finished runner-up at 17-under par.

Justin Campos, at age 15, hits a tee shot during a golf trip in St. Augustine with his father. (Courtesy photo)
From left, Kayden Grimaldo, Ozzie Garza and Ryan Cusumano watch as Roy Garza sinks a putt. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
From left, Mitch Osceola and Kevin Osceola watch as Chance Bishop sends his ball on the green during the Justin Campos Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 24. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Jimmy Wayne Holdiness’s family enjoys the golf tournament. From left are granddaughter Milana Herrera, stepdaughter Priscilla Caseres, granddaughter Jasleen Chavez, and wife Brenda Holdiness. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Tony Sanchez hits a good shot onto the green which elicits cheers from his golf partners Richard Reyna and Paula Bowers Sanchez. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at