by Madison V. Fisler
Aug. 5, 2014. For seven years, Rick Pedroni, owner of Casa Rustica Restaurant in Boone, has hosted the Casa Rustica Charity Golf Tournament. With the recent passing of his father and mentor, Peter Pedroni, the eighth annual charity golf tournament has been renamed in his honor. For the first time, the tournament will be held as the Peter Pedroni Memorial Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, Aug. 21.
The tournament’s namesake, Peter Pedroni, opened up the famous Casa Rustica Italian restaurant in Boone in 1981 with his wife Sara. Peter’s children, Linda and Rick, practically grew up in the restaurant as as young adults took over some of the work from their father. Rick Pedroni eventually took over ownership of the restaurant in 2000. Sadly, Peter passed away earlier this year.
“My father supported the community and gave back a lot to charity,” said Rick Pedroni. “He was a very avid golfer, so this was a great way to honor his life. He and my mother made it to the majority of the tournaments, and my mom always makes her famous quilts and we raise a lot of money through that. My dad was very proud of these tournaments and he was definitely instrumental in making them happen. My wife and I started it all, but a lot of the inspiration came from him.”
The entry fee for the tournament is $135 per player, which includes greens and cart fee, mulligans, raffles, goody bags and lunch. The tournament will be held in a four-man captain’s choice format with shotgun starts at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
All proceeds from the tournament will go to benefit the High Country Caregiver Foundation and the family of Jay Erwin, who was paralyzed in an accident.
“Last year we had 178 players and so many sponsors,” Pedroni said. “In the last seven years we have raised almost $100,000 combined.”
This year’s format is similar to the format of the previous years, with a few changes.
“One thing that is cool this year is that we are definitely going to have a car out there,” Pedroni said. “Usually we have cash to give away on the hole, but Ross Chrysler has agreed to give us a vehicle. We have cash sponsors on other holes and we have a game like Beat the Professional Golfer where you can win money. It is a really fun day and there will be a lot to do.”
Since the early 2000′s Rick and his wife, Elizabeth, have been deeply involved with charity work in the High Country. After their initial experience with helping to raise money for others, the Pedronis kept moving forward, eventually leading to the annual Charity Golf Tournament that has been a High Country tradition for close to a decade. Last year, the event raised more than $15,000 and this year, organizers are hoping for even more.
Don’t like to play golf? There are plenty of other opportunities for non-golfers to help out and support the cause. Volunteers are always needed to help keep things moving smoothly at the event. Another option is sponsorships. There are currently sponsorship opportunities ranging from $100-$1,500 available. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Brenda Reece at 265-5435.
Major sponsors this year include Cisco Foods, Coca Cola, Bridgestone Golf, U.S. Foods along with many local businesses and individuals.
Registration is currently open for the event, and both start times are still available. Complete a registration form today to get in on the fun and support a very worthy cause. Registration forms can be found by calling Rick Pedroni at 828-406-7085 or Art Adams at 828-264-8760 or by visiting Casa Rustica. Registration forms are also be available here.
“It is coming up fast, and we really encourage people to at least call ahead and register in advance,” Pedroni said. “One of the great things is that we provide lunch and dinner included in the price along with the mulligan package. We want to people to come and have a good time, all you have to do is come and be out there.”