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Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation presents total of $1.7 million in grants to serve at-risk children in Southwest Florida

The Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation presented $1.7 million in grants to six designated charities of the 21st annual Nichols Cup tournaments and auction gala, serving abused and at-risk children in Southwest Florida.

The fundraising efforts were distributed at the Piper’s annual meeting on March 28 among the Foundation’s two primary charity partners, Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida and Abuse Counseling & Treatment, and additional beneficiaries Blessings in a Backpack and Liberty Youth Ranch. The Foundation also announced their decision to add Pace Center for Girls, Lee and Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice as ongoing beneficiaries of their annual Nichols Cup event.

Founded by longtime Fiddlesticks resident Bobby Nichols, winner of 14 PGA Tour tournaments, the PGA recognizes the Nichols Cup golf tournament as one of the most successful community sponsored Pro-Am tournaments in the U.S. Since its inception 21 years ago, the Nichols Cup golf and tennis tournaments and auction gala has raised a total of more than $17 million to benefit local children’s charities.

“We have been blessed with a community that is incredibly supportive of this fundraising event as it has grown over the past 21 years,” said Nichols. “We are confident that together, we can continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of abused and at-risk children in our region for many years to come.”

Awarded a total donation of $589,000, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida (CAC) provides a coordinated response to child victims of abuse and neglect and improves the lives of at-risk children and their families through prevention services. The organization received a $89,000 grant

designated for their new program that provides education, awareness and training to prevent child abuse and neglect. The program is named, Kayla’s Club, to recognize Fiddlesticks board member Kayla Peck, who shared her personal story of overcoming child sexual abuse at the 2022 auction gala.

Abuse Counseling & Treatment (ACT) was also granted a total donation of $589,000. The organization serves victims of domestic violence and their children as well as survivors of sexual assault in Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties. With a one-time grant of $89,000, ACT will continue to carry out the mission of its Specialized Children’s Outreach Program. Since last August, the program has provided individual psychoeducation and therapy to at-risk and abused children ages 4 to 17 throughout the region.

The Foundation awarded a $179,000 grant to support Blessings in a Backpack and their ongoing mission in Southwest Florida. With the donation, the nonprofit provides 1,375 underserved children with backpacks filled with kid-friendly, ready-to-eat food items to take home every weekend during the school year. Liberty Youth Ranch, a charitable organization based in Bonita Springs, also received a $160,000 grant. The long-term children’s residential group home serves abused, abandoned, neglected and homeless children.

“The Foundation is extremely grateful for the many board members and volunteers who dedicate their time to making this fundraiser a success year after year,” said Bryan Simmering, vice president of the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation. “From organizing our first annual pickleball tournament to coordinating an impressive four days’ worth of events, without these volunteers, the Nichols Cup would not be able to raise the critical funds needed to support the efforts of these impactful children’s charities.” To learn more about the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation, visit NicholsCup.org.

About Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation

The Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation was founded in 2002 by a group of Fiddlesticks members, known as Pipers, who volunteer to organize and run the annual Nichols Cup Pro-Am Golf & Tennis Tournaments. The annual tournament recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of golfer Bobby Nichols, a longtime resident of Fiddlesticks and winner of 14 PGA Tour tournaments including the 1964 PGA Championship and 1974 Canadian Open. Since the formation of the Bobby Nichols – Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation 21 years ago, more than $17 million has been donated to local children’s charities. To learn more, visit NicholsCup.org or call 239-633-4579.

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