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Golfers Will Support Marines' Toys for Tots Campaign

Sept. 29, 2004 – St. Croix resident Carl Gotts, a Marine veteran and executive director of the St. Croix Marine Corps Association, has been organizing the Toys For Tots Golf Tournament for nine years, but he still talks with excitement as he gave details of this year's outing. It will be held at the Carambola Golf Course on Sunday, Oct. 10.
He said Wednesday, "Every year the event is more successful and that is good because every year the need grows."
With money earned from the event the local Marines fund the purchase of Christmas presents for such local charities as The Women's Coalition, CASA, the St. Croix Shrine Club, and others.
Gotts believes that the funds raised this year will have more bang for the buck because of the cooperation of the Marine Reserve Unit on Puerto Rico. The unit will be purchasing the toys and bringing them to St. Croix.
Coming from Puerto Rico for the outing will be about a dozen Marines on active duty. Gotts said, "It will be quite an event. Some Marines will be in full-dress blues."
The main element of the event is the 18-hole best ball tournament. The format will be a four-person team with a shotgun start. Tee time is 8:30 a.m. Entry fee is $85 per player.
Last year the outing had over 90 players. This year the goal is to have over 100. Gotts said the Marines earned enough to buy $7,000 worth of toys for needy children in 2003. He hopes to exceed that amount this year.
Gotts said, "It is a fun day and it raises money for a good cause." He added, "The real story is about the people who help the children every day. If we can give them some help with their budget, it gives us pleasure."
After the golf round there will be a lunch at 1:30 p.m. Non-golfers are invited to buy lunch and attend the award ceremony.
This year's tournament will have a record twelve, hole-in-one prizes, including three $10,000 prizes for aces on holes 5, 14 and 17 and bonus prizes throughout the course.
Prizes will also be awarded for each men's and women's longest drive and closest to the hole shot. Plaques will be awarded to the members of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams and to the Top All-Marine team. The buffet lunch, a tournament shirt and goodie bag are included in the entry fees.
Besides the normal awards, Gotts said there will interesting awards for the golfer who spends the most time in the woods or dropping balls into the water hazards.
The tournament is the main fund raising event for the Toys for Tots campaign. Toys For Tots is a U.S. Marine Corps tradition now in its 58th year distributing over 7 million toys nationwide each Christmas season.
This year's main sponsor is once again Alliance Management Partners LLC of Frederiksted.
Please call the Carambola Golf Course pro shop to register, 778-5638.
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