Coming in early June, my late brother-in-law, Carl James Palmer, Jr., known to all as Sonny Palmer, will be remembered by his family and friends during the Sonny Palmer Sunshine Classic. Sonny passed unexpectedly in January 2012 and that year his family began a yearly tradition by having a golf tournament in his name with the proceeds being donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Sonny was a veteran of the Air Force and he was passionate about the needs of our wounded vets. This year will be the 7th year for our small family-planned tournament.
The 18-hole golf tournament is held at the Fairway River Links Golf Course in Rayland, Ohio, a beautiful course along the Ohio River. Most of the golfers are family and friends of Sonny who come together to reminisce and catch up. Those that participate who may not have known Sonny surely now know a great deal about him as they keep coming back each year.
Following the tournament, all golfers are invited to the PAP Club in South Wheeling for lunch prepared by the family. The winning team receives a prize. All golfers receive a gift bag (from the family) and a prize donated by our generous business community. We also raffle off many other donated items, along with having a 50/50 raffle, a Chinese raffle (with all baskets put together and donated by Sonny’s family) and finally a grand door prize—this year donated by a family member. Many friends help with setting up, cooking, cleaning up and just being there to enjoy the day. This has been a lot of fun for everyone no matter their participation—whether they golf or just come to have lunch.
Bordas & Bordas has been a supporter of the tournament since the beginning. And the businesses from our community are very generous as is demonstrated by the many donations.
We all miss Sonny very much and because of the absolute wonderful memories we have of him, it has been very satisfying to donate each year to the Wounded Warrior Project. To date, a donation of well over $18,000 has been made in Sonny’s name. And we all know what Sonny’s words would be, as he was often heard saying, “That blows my mind, man!”