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Sunkist Country Club hosts 12th annual Tom Wall Classic

Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Despite triple digit heat indexes, the Tom Wall Classic, a summer Mardi Gras tradition, teed off at Sunkist Country Club.

Donnie Handler Jr took the ceremonial first swing for the 12th annual Tom Wall Classic at the Sunkist Country Club in Biloxi.

For tournament players like Jeff O’Keefe Jr., it’s the ability to help those in need that really means the most.

“Just being good friends with Donnie Handler, he manages this year after year, he manages the board for the golf tournament,” said O’Keefe Jr. “Knowing that the Mended Little Hearts Organization helped his son personally, it makes it personal for everyone out here.”

Donnie Handler Sr. is the president of the Trident Foundation, the charity organization in the Krewe of Neptune. Handler says the tournament has an even larger impact this time of year.

“Everybody knows were coming up on the peak of hurricane season. This will help us provide, even if we have one here, locally we gave a big cooker that was purchased last year through funding that way when someone heeds, we’re coming,” said Handler Sr. “We fed over 2000 people last year on Houma, we gave a way 300 turkeys, and provided Christmas presents for rover 500 kids last year.”

Handler says that despite the challenge that putting on a tournament this size is, it’s not all work and no play.

“We try to make this as fun as possible for everybody. We have a cannon that will shoot a golf ball 300 yards plus. We also have a toilet seat where these guys sit down and do their business while trying to hit a golf ball off of there.”

Nearly 60 four-man teams played in this year’s tournament, including former New Orleans Saints quarterback John Fourcade.

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