Experience the glory days of golf — when knickers, caps and argyle were all the rage — and benefit a cancer fund at the same time. The first Barber Fund Golf Tournament is slated for Saturday, April 16, at the MetroWest Golf Club, 2100 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando.
The tournament cost is $100 for individuals and $400 for foursomes. Registration includes cart and greens fees and lunch. There will be competitions, entertainment and more. Following the tournament a celebration luncheon will be held at the golf club’s Westerly’s Restaurant.
The tournament is presented by Everest University and hosted by Tammy Humphrey, Annie Mallory, Dixie L. Todd, Michelle Binkewicz and Central Florida entertainer Blue Star.
The event hosts were friends of the late John Barber, a 38-year-old Central Florida resident who died of sinonasal carcinoma in 2011. He co-founded The Barber Fund before his death as a way to keep his spirit alive and to help others living with cancer. The fund has paid mortgage and medical bills, purchased groceries, chaperoned appointments and more.
Barber grew up in Winter Garden, graduating from West Orange High School in 1991 and the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1995. He was known for his energetic personality; his ability to entertain through his onstage persona, Tweeka Weed; and his eagerness to assist in philanthropic endeavors. He was always fund-raising for political figures and local charities and was an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness.
“He started as my hairdresser and progressed rapidly to one of my closest confidants,” Humphrey said. “I spent many a Friday afternoon sitting in his salon discussing politics and gossiping about the local Orlando scene. When he became ill, a group of us promised we'd keep his memory alive by establishing the Barber Fund.”
The small, grassroots 501(c)3 organization was established in 2014. Its mission is to help those living with cancer and, at the same time, to bring joy and unity to the community.
Barber’s family has remained supportive of the organization. His mother, Nancy Barber; sister, Robin Branch; and niece, Ellie Branch, will be volunteering at the tournament.
“The Barber Fund had its inception when John was diagnosed with cancer five-and-a-half years ago,” Nancy Barber said. “Within two weeks, John's friends, led by Blue Star, a fellow entertainer and longtime friend, organized a highly successful fundraiser to help John with his expenses. … When John passed away there was some money left in The Barber Fund. He hoped, and his friends who had personally witnessed the horrors of his cancer desired, that the fund would continue their mission to help especially young people with this difficult disease.”
John Barber’s friends still plan multiple fundraisers each year to keep his spirit alive.
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].