The 27th annual Phil Galvano Classic was filled with fun, food and golfers on Oct. 13 at Longboat Key Club and Resort.
The event sold out, with 33 teams playing this year. All proceeds from the tournament benefit public schools in Manatee County through the Manatee Education Foundation.
“This is one of the biggest charity golf tournaments in the state of Florida,” said Mary Glass, president of the Manatee Education Foundation. “I have been doing it for 17 years and (state) Sen. Bill Galvano has been doing it for 27 years, so it just has such a rich history in the area. The crowd is full of local leaders. This is an amazing group of people who want to help out while having a good time at such a special event like this.”
The tournament began with a lunch of avocado tacos, pinwheels, turkey BLTs and house chips. Bagpipe player Gary Reinstrom played while everyone mingled. As the noon shotgun start approached, everyone piled in their golf carts and headed to their first holes.
At each hole, businesses hosted stations providing food, drinks and/or experiences to help players with their game. Many of the golf holes featured dishes from area restaurants such as Bonefish Grill, Pier 22, Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Glory Days Grill, Longboat Key Club, Taco Bus, Capital Grille and Clasico.
A plane also flew by with a banner welcoming all golfers to the tournament. At the end of the day, awards were held and everyone had dinner provided by Glory Days Grill.
“I actually think a lot of people come for the food,” said Glass. “It has become such an iconic part of the tournament that people know which businesses to look out for and definitely get filled up by the end of it.”
This tournament was started in 1996 to honor Galvano’s father, the late Phil Galvano. Since then, it has become an event that people look forward to every year.
“Not only is this event near and dear to my heart because it is in honor of my father, but as a product of the public school system, I know how important our continued support is for our students and teachers,” said Galvano in a press release. “For the last 27 years, this tournament has brought together supporters from our local community and across the state. For that, I am grateful to all who support this wonderful event.”