By Betsy Williams | Herald-Tribune Sarasota | heraldtribune.com | April 11, 2012
The Semper Fi Fund was established in 2004 to help defray the expenses during hospitalization, rehabilitation and recovery for members of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy injured in the line of duty or critically ill.
Semper Fi has expanded to help service members of all the U.S. forces and their families in need.
Doing its part to help fund Semper Fi, Boca Royale Golf and Country Club in Englewood sponsored its third annual Boca Royale Semper Fi Charity Golf Tournament on March 30.
Golf tournament winners were Chip Baldwin, Don DeSantis, Jeff Blessman and Dan Schull in the Men's Division; Ellen Nalepa, Anne Adderman, Mary Bick and Janet Young in the Women's Division; and Barry Moore, Janet Specht, and Bob and Joetta Poland in the Mixed Division.
In addition to the golf tournament, a benefit auction was held at the club. New this year was a tennis workshop taught by seven tennis pros for nearly 100 people.
Leslie Jernigan, wife of Michael, a Marine who was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq seven years ago, said Semper Fi does phenomenal work.
"If we need anything, it's at a drop of the hat that they are there to help," she said.
The Jernigans, with Michael's guide dog, a 7-year-old goldendoodle named Brittani, were among four Marine families at the golf tournament representing those Semper Fi helps, thanks to groups like those at Boca Royale.