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Orchid Island Director of Golf linked in at VNA Golf-A-Thon Fundraiser

Posted on: August 18, 2023
Read time: 3 minutes

Read full article featured in Vero News, written by Stephanie LaBaff. Photos courtesy of Joshua Kodis

The Indian River Club was abuzz with chatter about the 13 local golf pros who competed during the 33rd Annual Golf-A-Thon to benefit the VNA & Hospice Foundation’s Charitable Care Program. Members of the local clubs where the pros work solicit funds each year to support the VNA mission to improve the quality of life for patients, regardless of their financial resources.

After playing more than 100 holes, the day concluded with a shoot-out emceed by Pat Gorman, who had played every year since the inaugural event in 1991. Having retired from Bent Pine Golf Club last year, he traded in his clubs for a microphone and provided some expert color commentary.

“Being the emcee for the shoot-out is a whole lot more fun than playing all those holes of golf,” quipped Gorman, congratulating everyone on a record-breaking year.

“We know that you all had a great day, and we’re so appreciative of your day, giving it up for us. So, thank you from the bottom of our VNA and Hospice Foundation hearts,” said Carol Kanarek, interim foundation chair, as everyone gathered poolside for an awards ceremony and cocktails.

“I am standing here as interim this year because we lost our very good friend Kathie Pierce in January. We know that Kathie is smiling at us right now, and she would be so thrilled to know when I tell you how much money we have raised. She is going to be giving us a big smile and a big hurrah,” said Kanarek, announcing that the event had raised $501,700.

“This event has raised a lot of money for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured,” said Michelle Deschane, VNA & Hospice Foundation director of development, thanking everyone for their support.

“I appreciate you being here and toughing it out for 100 plus holes that we played today,” said pro host Ian Killen of the Indian River Club, reiterating thanks to players and volunteers. “And to the members of the Indian River Club, thank you so much for allowing us to have this day.”

orchid island golfers posing at Golf-A-Thon

Photo courtesy of Joshua Kodis
Matthew Challenor, A.J. Petrelak, Bella Nagy and David Champagne

Killen hosted fellow pros Matthew Challenor, Windsor Golf Club; David Champagne, Orchid Island Golf Club; Drew DiSesa, Riomar Country Club; Randy Hedgecock, Vero Beach Country Club; Steve Hudson, John’s Island Golf Club; Don Meadows, Quail Valley Golf Club; Frank Mentzer, Oak Harbor Golf Club; Bela Nagy, Sandridge Golf Club; Troy Pare, Grand Harbor Golf Club; A.J. Petrulak, The Moorings Yacht & Country Club; Ryan Zug, Pointe West Country Club; and Eddie Suchora, Bent Pine Golf Club, with Bent Pine’s Jason Berchtold subbing for Suchora part of the day.

The VNA provides home healthcare services, including Medicare-reimbursed and private-duty nursing; home health aides; physical, speech, and occupational therapy; wellness flu vaccinations, no-cost blood pressure/blood sugar screenings; speakers on health-related topics for local community groups; in-home companions; transportation; end-of-life hospice care in patients’ homes, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities; and the VNA Hospice House.

It also provides funding for bereavement support, the Camp Chrysalis children’s bereavement retreat, music therapy, remote patient monitoring, community wellness, and a mobile health clinic. For more information, visit

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