FLORIDA CLASSIC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Since its inception 20 years ago as a one-day “skins” golf tournament, the JEB BUSH Florida Classic has netted nearly $8.3 million to help support the research and care programs of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Now a two-day event in it's 21st year, dubbed the "Florida Classic", including a fishing tournament, day of golf, chic BeachBash and 65 Roses Gala, the event is one of the largest fundraisers for the CF Foundation’s South Florida Office.
- 1996 – Began as “skins” tournament with Jeb Bush serving as honorary chairman, a position he held until 2015. Chaired by Lawson Dutton, CF dad who lost a three-year old daughter to CF in 1990. Sponsors were Coopers Lybrand and Ryder. Held at Deering Bay; $50,000 net.
- 1997 – Held at Deering Bay again. Co-chairs Lawson Dutton and Bill Tillett. Added AT&T as sponsor; $100,000 net.
- 1998 – Moved to LaGorce Country Club. Lawson Dutton and Bill Tillett co-chaired. $100,000 net.
- 1999 – Held at Westview Country Club after hurricane forced date change. First year it was not a “skins” format; changed format to include corporate and two-some challenges. $103,000 net.
- 2000 – A Broward County committee was added. A cocktail reception was added to increase revenue. Held at Doral Country Club. Dade County chaired by Bill Tillett, Hank Adorno and Lawson Dutton. Broward County chaired by Paul Anderson and Stanton Smith. $102,000 net.
- 2001 – Held at Ponte Vedra Inn & Golf Club. Marty Fiorentino and Mike Hightower were recruited to co-chair Jacksonville committee. $140,000 net.
- 2002 – Held at Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa. Chris Sullivan, Founder of Outback Steakhouse, agreed to chair Tampa committee, along with Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville committees. $197,000 net.
- 2003 – Held at Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort and Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando. Corporate Express contracted as presenting sponsor for two years. Orlando co-chairs John McReynolds, Joe York and Shannon McAleavey joined the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Tampa committees. $193,000 net.
- 2004 – Returned to South Florida at Fort Lauderdale’s at Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six and Grande Oaks Golf Club. Inaugural off-shore fishing tournament added. Chaired by Dave Ericks, Senator James Scott, Phil Smith and Stan Smith. $480,000 net.
- 2005 – Honorary committee added for donors of $50,000 or more. The Wasie Foundation and Scott Steele each pledged $50,000. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. contracted as presenting sponsor for two years. A tennis pro-am tournament was added. The gala and fishing tournament were held at Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six and the golf and tennis tournaments at Coral Ridge Country Club. Chaired by Dave Ericks, Senator James Scott, Phil Smith and Stan Smith. $787,000 net.
- 2006 – Wal-Mart remained presenting sponsor. Dave Ericks, Juan Morales, Stan Smith and Steve Savor co-chaired event. Events remained at same locations as prior year. $931,500 net.
- 2007 – Gala moved to Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and fishing moved to Lauderdale Yacht Club. A Beach Bash on Fort Lauderdale beach was added. Four co-chairmen remained. $557,000 net.
- 2008 – AT&T became title sponsor. The golf tournament moved to Fort Lauderdale Country Club and the Beach Bash moved to the Fort Lauderdale Grande. The gala remained at the Convention Center and fishing remained at Lauderdale Yacht Club. Stan Smith acted as general chairman of the event. $524,500 net.
- 2009 – AT&T remained title sponsor. The golf tournament continued at Fort Lauderdale Country Club, while the gala, fishing tournament and Beach Bash moved to the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six. Joe Hess acted as overall chairman of the event, which netted $372,000.
- 2010 – AT&T remained title sponsor, while Ford and Premier Beverage joined the event as presenting sponsors. The golf tournament continued at Fort Lauderdale Country Club, and the gala, fishing tournament and Beach Bash remained at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six. Joe Hess continued as general chairman of the event, which netted $400,000.
- 2011 – AT&T remained title sponsor, Ford and Premier Beverage remained presenting sponsors, and The Wasie Foundation joined as Matching Gift Sponsor. All events remained at 2010 venues, and Joe Hess remained general chairman of the event, which netted $588,000.
- 2012 – AT&T remained title sponsor, Ford and Premier Beverage remained presenting sponsors, and The Wasie Foundation continued as Matching Gift Sponsor. Joe Hess remained general chairman, all events remained at their prior year venue, and combined to net $526,000.
- 2013 – AT&T remained title sponsor, BB&T joined Ford and Premier Beverage as presenting sponsors, The Wasie Foundation returned as Matching Gift Sponsor. Linda Cooke and Ed Pozzuoli were co-chairpersons of the 65 Roses Gala, Joe Hess remained general chairman and all events combined to net $605,000.
- 2014 – AT&T remained title sponsor, BB&T, Ford and Premier Beverage remained presenting sponsors, The Wasie Foundation returned as Matching Gift Sponsor. Jen Klaassens joined Joe Hess as general co-chairpersons and all events combined to net more than $724,000.
- 2015 – Joe Hess and Jen Klaassens remained as overall co-chairpersons for the 20th anniversary celebration. All major sponsors and event chairpersons remained on board. Honorary Chairman Jeb Bush was honored for his 20 years of support at the 65 Roses Gala, which was co-chaired by Linda Cooke and Ed Pozzuoli. Total net: nearly $764,000.
Total revenue netted to date - nearly $8.3 million!