Golfers tee up support for United Way’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program

Ninety-six golfers supporting United Way’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program in Martin County enjoyed a day full of excitement at the 17th annual Tee It Up for Character Charity Golf Tournament on April 26 at Monarch Country Club. In addition to playing 18 holes of golf on a beautiful Friday afternoon, players took their best swing at the Hole-In-One contests to win a Maserati Levanti sponsored by Phyllis Kordick, a full day charter with DayMaker Charters, a Macy’s shopping spree, and a customized vacation package through Center for Travel sponsored by Lively Orthodontics. One player, Casey McCormick, tried to putt his way to $2,500 in the putting contest, and two players, Jeff Lyle and Christopher Jensen, competed for $100,000 during the second chance shoot-out, sponsored by Mark Brechbill, PLLC, Certified Public Accountants.

The tournament, the sole fundraiser for United Way’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program, was a huge success, raising more than $13,000 thanks to golf committee members Mark Brechbill, Phyllis Kordick, LaDonna Lively, Blake Norman, Liz Snyder, and Rob Tweeddale, sponsors, auction bidders, players, special contributors and volunteers. Proceeds raised will provide character education activities and resources in the schools and throughout the community. "CHARACTER COUNTS! encourages good sportsmanship and increases public awareness of the importance of core ethical values," said Holly Laiben, the program’s director. "This golf fundraiser will help to ensure these activities continue."

The following are this year’s results:

  • Overall Winners – Todd Dittmar, Brian Hughes, Ken Martin, and Chad Owen
  • Men’s 1st Place – Mark Fulton, Mike Kneip, Brad Love, and Allen Wenzell
  • Men’s 2nd Place – Bruce Hoffman, Bill McFarlane, Rob Meyers, and George Szabo
  • Men’s 3rd Place – Mike Busch, Kevin Fandrey, Mark Noviello, and Steve Streichler
  • Men’s 4th Place – David Ballou, Mark Debien, Michael Schmitt, and Rob Tweeddale
  • Mixed / Ladies 1st Place – Liz Elliott, Mark Elliot, Barbara Sundblad, and Ken Sundblad
  • Mixed / Ladies 2nd Place – Mark Brechbill, Scott Brechbill and Jesse Elmeric
  • Closest to the Line – Barbara Sundblad, Dave Shimko, and Mark Elliott

Major sponsors of the tournament were Mark Brechbill, PLLC, Certified Public Accountants, Phyllis Kordick, Lively Orthodontics, Keiser University College of Golf and Sports Management, Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, Attorneys at Law, Ohle & Ohle, Attorneys at Law, The Saelzer / Atlas Wealth Management Group of Raymond James, Wallace Cadillac, Whiticar Boat Works, NisAir Air Conditioning, Ampersand Graphics, Monarch Country Club, and Publix Supermarket Charities. 

The buffet dinner following the tournament featured silent and live auctions with auctioneer Elliot Paul of Elliot Paul & Company Auctions and offered golf outings from Sailfish Point Golf Club, Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club, Mariner’s Sands Country Club, Monarch Country Club, Piper’s Landing Yacht & Country Club, and Willoughby Golf Club; getaways through the Disney Vacation Club donated by Chris and Todd Knickerbocker, and Timbers Jupiter; a Mizuno ST190 driver and golf lesson donated by Keiser University College of Golf & Sports Management, a Yeti cooler donated by O’ Sole Mio, a Total Wine & More private wine tasting class, and several specialty gift certificates and baskets. For the second year, a request for donations that would provide CHARACTER COUNTS! mini-grants to our local schools and non-profit agencies to enhance their character-development activities was made. 42 items were awarded in the raffle including complimentary foursomes of golf to local golf clubs and dining and entertainment gift certificates, baskets and tickets to local businesses.

CHARACTER COUNTS! is a program of United Way of Martin County. For further information, contact CHARACTER COUNTS! director Holly Laiben at (772) 283-4800, ext. 234 or visit About United Way of Martin County: The mission of United Way of Martin County is to lift the community and change lives together through the collective power of advancing the common good. Since 1972, United Way has been working to create long-term social change and provide support to Martin County residents by investing in programs that strive to: promote good health, support financial stability and improve education. For more information about United Way of Martin County, visit or call 772-283-4800. PHOTO CREDIT: United Way of Martin County PHOTO CAPTION: The 17th annual Tee It Up For Character golf tournament raised over $13,000 for United Way of Martin County’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program.