Ponte Vedra Beach was the perfect setting for the perfect gathering Friday, March 12, when two-time PGA TOUR winner Len Mattiace hosted his inaugural Rolls Royce Players Party.
The weather was on its best behavior as guests arrived at the exclusive charity event designed to benefit the Len Mattiace Foundation and its programs for local kids. Those in attendance had an opportunity to make donations while enjoying mixed drinks, music from The Chris Thomas Band and oceanfront vistas behind the Ponte Vedra Boulevard home where the party was held.
Attendees also had an opportunity to showcase their skills in a chipping game on the back lawn. Anyone who could hole a 25-yard chip shot would win a ride on a private jet to a PGA host course and play 18 holes with Mattiace.
Motor car enthusiasts also had an opportunity to examine a trio of Rolls Royce vehicles up close.
Of course, the event served an important charitable purpose. The foundation supports kids’ programs at The First Tee of North Florida and a Stop the Bullying Campaign in Jacksonville.
“Every month, we go to a golf course, and we invite kids from The First Tee of North Florida to come join with members who sign up,” said Mattiace.
The youths between the ages of 13 and 18 are given an opportunity to learn from, and form friendships with, golfers from the community. For some, it offers insights into the world outside their own.
These kids, said Mattiace, “don’t really have access to golf courses. Their parents aren’t members at a country club. So, we really embrace the idea of connecting with those kids to give them a chance to meet quality people in the community. It will change those kids’ lives forever.”
The adults gain something, as well.
“They get to see The First Tee up close and see what The First Tee’s all about,” said Mattiace. “These kids are good golfers, and they’re great kids. They’re great people. The First Tee is doing an exceptional job.”
Since Mattiace started the foundation in 2000, it has been able to donate more than $400,000 to The First Tee of North Florida.
The other initiative by the foundation is its work to stop bullying. Every month, the campaign has a theme, and students do projects, write papers and make speeches to get the message out.
Getting the students involved is one of the keys to solving the issue.
“Kids know what’s going on in the schools; you know, who’s bullying who,” Mattiace said. “Who makes fun of kids because they didn’t shower the night before or they have the same clothes on a few days of the week.”
Behind both of the foundation’s pillars is its core philosophy: kindness, compassion and inclusion.
“In everything that we do, we want to make sure when we reach the kids, we want to pass those messages along,” Mattiace said. “If we pass those messages along to the kids, the world will be a better place.”
The idea for the fundraiser started with SAC Collective, the foundation’s presenting sponsor. The party was to be held last year, but could not because COVID-19 forced social events to be suspended. It was conducted this year, however, with the support of Fields Auto Group and title sponsor Rolls Royce Motor Cars Orlando.
In all, the event had 45 sponsors and 60 volunteers.
To learn more about the foundation or to donate, go to lenmattiace.com.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here