by Chuck Ballaro – Cape Coral Daily Breeze (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lauren Divet was barely able to keep her emotions in check. Who could blame her after one of the great moments of her life?
Her husband, Jeff, had just won a house after coming up huge on the miniature golf course during a celebration to commemorate the conclusion of the Fuccillo Kia Huge-a-Thon at Mike Greenwell’s on Thursday.
Jeff, a North Fort Myers resident, practiced for nearly a week at Greenwell’s, including playing 64 holes on Wednesday in the rain and wind to prepare for the event with him and others who bought or leased a car at Fuccillo Kia in June.
During the event, participants were eligible to play one nine-hole miniature golf round for the chance to win a house in Cape Coral and other prizes. There were 474 who were eligible.
While many of them treated the competition with a casual attitude, Jeff treated it as if it was the Masters. It might as well have been. It was for a house, after all.
“I practiced about 40 to 50 hours this week. I thought I needed to put myself in the best position to win. If I learned the nuances of the course, I’d know what had to be done to put the ball in the hole,” Jeff said. Jeff may not have considered another aspect of golf, nerves. Thankfully, he was able to keep those in control. “I never played for a house, obviously. But it’s a good thing. I wasn’t sure how my nerves would affect me today. Somehow I kept it together and posted a good score,” Jeff said, who plays golf once every few weeks.
“He’s put his heart and soul into anything that’s been worthwhile and I’m so thankful he got a break today,” Lauren said, emotion cracking her voice. “He played 64 holes here yesterday just to get to know the course. He’s been here since we bought the car.”
John said he would probably take the cash option of $75,000 and use it to pay the bills and go on vacation. He is also looking into starting a new business in the fall and said the money would go a long way toward that.
Carlos Chavez of Fort Myers finished second and won a brand new Kia Soul. David Lampley of Fort Myers won the TV. A 60-inch big-screen TV, gas grill and a Blu-Ray home theater system were also given away.
Everyone who purchased or leased a new Kia at Fuccillo Kia in June received a $1,000 check.
Billy Fuccillo, owner of Fuccillo Kia, said the giveaways, of which there have been numerous, is a great way to give back to the community that has made his Kia dealership the biggest in the country.
“The first four years have been unbelievable. People have really supported us. So, we try to give back as much as we can,” Fuccillo said. “It means when I go to bed tonight I’ve done the right thing and made people happy.”
“It was a great turnout. Greenwell’s did a great job. They really stepped up to the plate,” said Xavier Villarreal, general manager. “This is not a gimmick. Billy loves giving back. He can mingle with the crowd. And giving someone the keys to a house is the American dream. What more can you ask for?”