In Special Events

NAPLES, FL—January 13, 2023—The Immokalee Foundation has announced headliner Ernie Els alongside Peter Jacobsen and more for the 2023 Charity Classic Pro-Am Golf Tournament on March 12, 2023 and March 13, 2023. The popular signature event will feature a Pairings Party on Sunday, March 12, and Pro-Am Tournament on Monday, March 13. Both will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón.

Participants in the tournament will have the opportunity to play alongside Els and Jacobsen, as well as a lineup of almost two dozen celebrated golf professionals.

John Tobe, CEO and President of Tobe Development, will chair the event this year. Committee members include Jerry Belle, Immokalee Foundation Board Chair, and Michael Benson, Managing Partner of Benson Blackburn.

Ernie Els has 72 professional career victories, including four Major Championships, two World Golf Championships, and a record seven World Matchplay titles. As a former World No.1, Els is one of the most prolific winners of his generation and the global reach of his victories is almost without parallel.

Els has triumphed in tournaments in South Africa, Europe, the US, Asia, the Far East, the Middle East and Australasia. Ernie was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and the South African Golf Hall of Fame.

Last year, 104 local golf enthusiasts helped The Immokalee Foundation raise a record-breaking $610,000 to support the educational and professional development needs of over 1,300 students in Immokalee—from kindergarten through postsecondary education.

“In golf, you must play the ball where it lies no matter how rough the terrain or what obstacles remain in the way,” said Immokalee Foundation President and CEO Noemi Y. Perez. “Like the game, Foundation students learn to overcome whatever adversity they face in life in order to move forward and realize the importance of making the most out of every opportunity. Our Charity Classic Pro-Am not only provides access to incredible professional golf talent, but it allows attendees to positively impact the lives of a very driven group of students.”

The funds raised will support various Foundation activities, including the award-winning Career Pathways program. This comprehensive educational approach prepares students for high-demand, well-paying jobs in four pathways: Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management, and Healthcare.

“We are excited to celebrate the 15th anniversary of our Pro-Am Golf Event,” said Marie Hernandez Rubenstein, Vice President of Philanthropy. “To do so alongside Ernie Els is an extreme honor. His success, as well as the accomplishments of so many of our passionate supporters in Southwest Florida, remind us of what is possible when obstacles are overcome and we keep our eyes on the prize.”

Entry into the Pro-Am Golf tournament begins at $5,000 for a single golfer and includes a ticket to the Pairings Party. For the first time, tickets to the Pairings Party are available to the public for $500 each and are not restricted to those participating in the golf tournament the following day.

For additional details, including ticket purchases and sponsorship opportunities, visit or call Marie Hernandez Rubenstein at (786) 459-0482.

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