Results of K9s United Golf Tournament
St. Johns, Florida—The first annual K9s United Golf Tournament brought out more than 80 golfers on a misty, gray morning at St. Johns Golf & Country Club on October 5. But the overcast skies did not dampen any spirits, as golfers, volunteers and onlookers watched K9 demonstrations before heading out to the links.
Organizer Debbie Johnson said the event was not only successful in raising funds for local law enforcement K9 units, but also in raising awareness of the importance of these dogs and their partners. Johnson started the non-profit K9s United to honor the life of Baron, a St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office K9 that was killed by a suspect in 2014. The death of Baron so moved her, she said, that she was driven to find a way to help other K9 units.
The golf tournament was the first event sponsored by the non-profit. Proceeds from the tournament will be used to purchase supplies for K9 dogs and units in the Northeast Florida area. The tournament’s first-place team included Blake Powers, Ian Kincaid, Patrick Cruz and Brent Baote. The second place team included Cary Cowan, Evan Berlin, Aaron Gauthier, and JP Pearce. Attending this year’s “Losers Clinic” was the team of Ray Adams, Jonathan Leija, Jim McDermott, and Jay Cobb.
The success of the event was due in large part to the generosity of local companies that sponsored the golf tournament, Johnson said. The sponsors included:
- Benefit Technologies
- Next Financial Group
- Coastal Industries
- Florida Air Recovery
- Lynch Auto
- Atlantic Veterinary Hospital
- Craig Funeral Home
- Exit 1 Stop Realty
- Deppe Communications
- Severine Photography
- Tilley, Callahan & Speiser
In addition, numerous companies donated items for a silent auction and prized drawings that were given away during the BBQ lunch that followed the tournament.
Among those donors were: Brumos, JetBlue, Sammons Retirement, Maple Street Biscuit Company, Metro Diner, Dunkin Donuts, Caddy Shack, Autobahn, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Veterans United Craft Brewery, Burkhardt Distributing, Phantom Fireworks, Cheesecake Factory, Flying Iguana, Marker 32, Campeche Bay, Rockaway Garden, Wyland Galleries, Designed Events, A1 Stoneworld, Concrete Creations, Everything Bagel and Construction, Solutions and Supply LLC, Caddy Clipz, Founders Wealth, Kendyl Ahlgrim and Sue Stusnick.
Johnson also thanked the volunteers who assisted with the event: Ashley Berg, Angie Byrd, Ali Powers, Tina Callahan, Kim DeLettre, Irina Lawlor, Deb Potash, Tracie Saad, and Beth Maxim.
“We were just overwhelmed with the support we received for this first event,” Johnson said. “ It was amazing to see how many of the golfers and sponsors had been touched by the death of Baron and wanted to do something to recognize the sacrifices of these special dogs.
“At a time when law enforcement officers around the country are coming under fire, it was really special to see so many people coming out to honor them here in Northeast Florida,” she said.
Johnson is working on the next fundraising event, which will be a 5K walk/run to be held next Spring. To see photos from the golf tournament or to make a donation to K9s United, visit K9sUnited.org.