By Madison Fisler Lewis
Oct. 8, 2014. The Peter Pedroni Memorial Golf Tournament, formerly known as the Casa Rustica Charity Golf Tournament, was once again a massive success on Aug. 21. The day proved to be one of the best years ever for the tournament, which has now taken place annually for eight years to raise money for various charities around the High Country.
This year, the beneficiaries of the tournament were the High Country Caregiver Foundation and the family of Jay Erwin, who suffered an accident that left him paralyzed.
“We raised about $15,000, which is a little more than last year,” said Rick Pedroni, who founded the tournament and hosts it each year.
“It really came down to community support, everyone came out to support us. We had volunteers from the High Country Caregivers Foundation and my restaurant and other surrounding restaurants, that is what made the difference. It has really morphed into a community effort. There is a lot of work involved but it really helps out when we can spread [the work] around.”
Pedroni mentioned that he had some concerns about changing the name of such a well-established fundraising golf tournament, but his concerns were banished when the turnout for the event exceeded his expectations.
“I had a few concerns with changing something that had been established for seven years, but a lot of people knew my father and everyone was very supportive.”
The namesake of the tournament is Peter Pedroni, Rick’s father, who opened up Casa Rustica Italian Restaurant in Boone in 1981 and was always a huge supporter of the community.
“My father supported the community and gave back a lot to charity,” Pedroni said in a previous interview. “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.”
About 170 people played in the tournament this year to support the charitable causes and to enjoy a great day of fun.
“What is great about this tournament is that we do it on a Thursday,” Pedroni said. “And that is the way it has been since its inception. It is a one-day event where you can play in the morning or in the afternoon, so it allows people to move their schedule around to allow them to participate.”
Peter Pedroni, as well as the rest of the Pedroni family, was always active in the community and its various causes.
“My father passed away in January, so it is still relatively new,” Pedroni said. “But to be able to do something to honor him so soon made an impact on my entire family. It was a great way to celebrate him and honor him. I think he would have been honored to be a part of this. My mom was able to be here and that was really great.”
Since the tournament, Rick and his wife were honored by the High Country Caregiver Foundation during a lunch along with others who have helped to raise money for the organization.
“It was an honor to be a part of that and we look forward to working with them more in the future,” Pedroni said. “They are such a good cause, and it is a really cool thing that they do. I encourage everyone to look them up. I witnessed both my grandmother and my father go through home healthcare, and to see a nonprofit foundation like this one doing what they do, it is just very close to my heart.”
For more information about the High Country Caregiver Foundation, click here.
Check out photos of the event below.
Photos courtesy of the Peter Pedroni Memorial Golf Tournament