The inaugural Buck Off Challenge to benefit Southeast Florida Honor Flight was a tremendous success, on and off Snowflake, the friendly mechanical bull.
Held Friday, March 23 at the Butcher Shop Beer Garden West Palm Beach before a crowd of more than 200 that included numerous heroes, the event raised more than $15,000 for the Southeast Florida Honor Flight. The veterans on site received several standing ovations throughout the evening as the appreciative audience thanked them for their service and sacrifice.
The next trip for Southeast Florida Honor Flight is scheduled for Saturday, April 14.
The Real Bucking Deal, highlighted by 11-year Trent Ferrier’s perfect score of 100, earned top honors with 393.5 points out of a possible 400. He was ably supported by Donnie Mills, who scored 99.5 points, while Ferrier’s dad, Andrey, and leadoff rider Autumn Langworthy were each awarded a 97.
A one-rider buck off was needed to determine the second and third place finishers. Anna King of the Butcher Shop team posted a 96 to narrowly edge Susannah Rogers of the Envisian Products team, who scored a 95. Each team tied in the first round with a 383.
Celebrity judges were former NFL player and analyst Doug Chapman, Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Maria Marino and State Rep. Matt Willhite (D-District 86), a former United States Navy Corpsman who served with the 4th ANGLICO of the United States Marine Corps and was a guardian on six honor flights. But the biggest celebrity and crowd favorite on the panel was 93-year-old World War II veteran Carmin Yannotta.
The main sponsors of the Buck Off Challenge were philanthropists Sanjiv Sharma and Nadine Allen, who live in Highland Beach and have established four scholarships in the U.S. and India while regularly supporting local and national charities relating to food, health and education.
After the competition concluded, Marino and Chapman rose to the challenge and rode Snowflake flawlessly to garner more donations to the cause. Allen and Sharma were also persuaded to jump on Snowflake to the cheers of the crowd.
Allen has chaired the Share Our Strength, Palm Beach No Kid Hungry Gala for over 10 years. Sharma is on the board of Caridad, located in Boynton Beach, which provides free medical care and health education to underserved families.
Other sponsors included Janet Hoose, Carl Schachter with Northwestern Mutual, Brian Lookabill with Envisian Products, the Palm Beach International Academy, the Rodriguez Charities, Orsini IT LLC, Jason Calderwood with PNC Wealth Management, Jolie Burrell LLC and KP Concession. The event was designed and produced by Bobbi Rottman of Eques Solutions.
For more information about Southeast Florida Honor Flight, visit www.honorflightsefl.org.