Balls Drop, Fortunes Rise at 11th Annual Chopper Dropper

MELBOURNE, FLA. — There were a lot of numbers at Florida Institute of Technology’s 11th Annual Chopper Dropper on March 14, such as the $50,000 headed to grand prize winner Michael Kenemuth of Melbourne, or the 152 golfers who took thousands of swings in the Sporting Affair XXII Golf Tourney.

But the numbers that mattered most were these: 22 and 550.

Those refer to the 22 Florida Tech sports programs and 550 student-athletes that will benefit from the university’s biggest annual athletics fundraiser. This year’s Sporting Affair grossed $500,000 from Chopper Dropper ticket sales, athletic partners, golf teams and hole sponsors, in-kind donations and more.

“Florida Tech takes pride in producing student-athletes that really live up to those words,” said Matt Kilcullen, assistant vice president for athletic fundraising. “Thanks to the generous support we receive from our partners, sponsors and participants, we are able to ensure our students will match their outstanding classroom education with an equally top-notch athletic experience.”

The key number for Kenemuth was 619. That was the number on his winning golf ball, one of 2,000 numbered golf balls dropped out of a helicopter above a green at Suntree Country Club. No. 619 rolled closest to the pin.

Rakesh Shah of Tampa was the $10,000 winner in the Chopper Dropper.

And 15 others received $1,000 as runner-up winners. They were: Steve Badolato of Indian Harbour Beach; Dennis Brennan of West Hartford, Conn.; Frank and Cathy Bright of Satellite Beach; Scott and Janet Buescher of Melbourne; John and Dolly Casko of Melbourne; Deborah Criddle of Palm Shores; David Curri of Indian Harbour Beach; Tristan and Sandy Fiedler of Indialantic; Mike and Diane Grieves of Cocoa Beach; Vicki Mayhew of Albuquerque, N.M.; Randy Muns of Chico, Texas; Jared Nunes of Palm Bay; Susie Putnam of Indialantic; Yvonne Schopke of Indialantic; and Rochelle Vaccarelli of Melbourne.

Chopper Dropper participants were invited to attend a cocktail buffet reception sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne, with food provided by Florida Tech Athletic Partners The Broken Barrel Tavern, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Matt’s Casbah. The reception also featured a silent auction and 50/50 cash raffle.

Sporting Affair XXII’s golf tournament, which featured a Million Dollar Hole-In-One Shootout sponsored by Berman, Hopkins, Wright & LaHam CPAs and Associates, was won by the Audi team featuring John Fielding, Tim Dodge and Charles Kleinschnitz.

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