Melbourne Resident Wins $50,000 Grand Prize
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Melbourne resident Brian Davidson won the $50,000 grand prize at Chopper Dropper, the marquee event at Sporting Affair XXVII, Florida Tech’s annual fundraiser for its 18 varsity sports and more than 550 scholar-athletes.
Chopper Dropper involves dropping 2,000 numbered golf balls from a helicopter onto a field, and the ball that ends up closest to the golf flag implanted there wins the $50,000 grand prize. There is also a $10,000 second prize and 15 $1,000 prizes, as well.
Davidson and his family developed connections to some Florida Tech people, including basketball coach Billy Mims and football coach Steve Englehart, though the university’s sports camps. “It has been a great experience and we have developed lifelong friendships,” Davidson said.
Davidson made $5,000 donations from his grand prize to both the basketball and football programs.
The March 15 event, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Prosche Audi Melbourne and Berman Hopkins Wright LaHam CPAs & Associates featured a party on the university’s Varsity Training Center field, with live music, cocktails and food from sponsors The Broken Barrel Tavern, Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Palm Bay and Campus Dining Services.
The $10,000 second prize went to Bonnie Harry of Halethorpe, Maryland. She purchased a ticket in honor of her husband, who passed away in early 2019, and asked her grandson, Florida Tech student and lacrosse player Brandon Harry, to attend.
When she registered for the event, Bonnie Harry wrote, “Let it fly in memory of Alan Harry, grandfather of Florida Tech #30 – 2019. He’ll be watching!” She later told her grandson that he needed to be there because their ticket was going to win. She was right.
In addition to Davidson and Harry, 15 other Chopper Dropper participants won $1,000 each as runner-up winners, including one familiar name who won with four different balls.
Mike Erdman of Merritt Island, the auto dealer, won $4,000.
Other $1,000 winners were: Wayne Cooper, Indialantic; Andrew Loeffler, Mt. Prospect, Illinois; Jason St. Onge, Deerfield, Illinois; Gregory Anglin, Tampa; Daniel Flores, Rockledge; Rick Horner, Titusville; Korhan Oyman, Indialantic; Bruce Gaarder, Palm Bay; Tracy Ryland, Indialantic; Joe Eckelman, Hopewell, New York; and Dave Badolato, Satellite Beach.