Founder’s Cup raises more than $150,000 for scholarship initiatives

When FGCU was only a twinkle in the eyes of its founders, a group of community members started a fundraiser fit for a Southwest Florida college — a golf tournament. That is why, for the past 24 years, one of FGCU’s biggest fundraising events has been the Founder’s Cup.
The Founder’s Cup, which took place Oct. 9 at the Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, raised between $150,000 and $160,000 to go toward student scholarships and FGCU initiatives.
“It was a very successful event,” said Chris Simoneau, executive director of the FGCU Foundation. “We’re still collecting invoices, but we think it will be the most lucrative Founder’s Cup we’ve ever had.”
Simoneau said 220 golfers attended the event. Teams of four players paid between $2,000 and $2,500 to compete.
Lindsey Touchette, FGCU’s director of major gifts, said that while some administration members participated in the tournament, most of the golfers were community members and employees of local businesses.
“We’re grateful to all of our participants and sponsors every year,” Touchette said. “It’s amazing that it’s happened for 24 years.”
The money raised will go toward first generation scholarships, athletics scholarships and the Founder’s Cup endowed scholarship. The money will support the FGCU Food Pantry, the Alumni Association and WGCU.
Junior Aric Popovich volunteered at the event as a University Ambassador. He assisted with clean-up and was in charge of watching one of the holes for a hole-in-one, but he said no holes-in-one occurred.
“I liked meeting some of the people,” Popovich said. “I got to meet some of the bigger names at the university that you hear their names, but never meet, like Chris Simoneau and President Bradshaw.”
According to Touchette, Bradshaw never golfs in the tournament, but he does attend the reception and other activities during the event.
“Everyone that participates says it’s a really great event for the students,” Touchette said.