Former Florida Tech Rower Wins $50,000 Grand Prize at Chopper Dropper
Auto Dealer Mike Erdman Wins $10,000
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Scot Killen of New Milford, Connecticut, won the $50,000 top prize in Florida Institute of Technology’s 13th Annual Chopper Dropper fundraiser held recently at Suntree Country Club.
Killen, a corporate pilot, is a 1988 graduate of Florida Tech, where he majored in aviation management. He rowed each of his four years at Florida Tech and in 1988 was a member of just the second Florida Tech men’s varsity eight crew to win a Dad Vail Championship in the program’s history. That crew then went on to race at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.
Killen said he will donate a portion of his winnings to the university’s Boat House fund.
The Chopper Dropper is the marquee event at the university’s biggest fundraiser for athletic scholarships, the Sporting Affair XXIV held at Suntree Country Club. It involves dropping 2,000 numbered golf balls from a helicopter onto a putting green, with the ball closest to the pin winning the holder of that number a $50,000 grand prize. There is also a $10,000 second prize and 15 $1,000 prizes, as well.
Second prize went to Mike Erdman of Merritt Island.
This year’s Sporting Affair, which in addition to the Chopper Dropper featured a golf tournament, hole in one shootout, silent auction, cocktail party, food and more, raised $600,000 to benefit Florida Tech’s 22 varsity sports and cheerleading and more than 550 student-athletes.
It included a cocktail buffet reception sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne featuring food from Florida Tech athletic partners The Broken Barrel Tavern, Matt’s Casbah, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill., as well as a silent auction with unique sports memorabilia and more, and a 50/50 cash raffle.
The money raised came from Chopper Dropper ticket sales, athletic partners, golf teams and hole sponsors, in-kind donations and more.
“We are thrilled and honored by the support shown to our athletics programs at this year’s Chopper Dropper and Sporting Affair,” said John Thomas, associate vice president of athletic partnerships. “This support is critical to the success of our athletic programs, and we thank everyone who helped make possible our continued efforts to produce student-athletes of the highest caliber.”
In addition to Killen and Erdman, 15 other Chopper Dropper participants won $1,000 each as runner-up winners.
They were: Alan Wagaman, Lexington Park, Maryland; Kelly Rick, Melbourne; David Badolato of Satellite Beach, who won twice; Johnny Valentine, Indialantic; Mary Goodwin, Indialantic; M.R. Dionne, Melbourne; Semen Koksal, Malabar; Schuyler DeJong, Melbourne Beach; Annette Leckstram, Melbourne; Sean Carmichael, Melbourne; Charles Greer, Melbourne Beach; Ted and Melissa Parker, Melbourne; Patty Maul, Melbourne; and Ken Stackpoole, Melbourne.