'Funds for Friends' remembers Billy Kopel

  • Monday, April 21, 2014

Billy Kopel PROVIDED

On Sunday, April 27, the fourth annual Billy Kopel Memorial Golf Tournament and Music Fest will be held at Patriots Point Golf Course and Buddy Roes restaurant on Ben Sawyer Boulevard. In honor of a fellow golfer and local musician who gave so much over the years to those in need, “Funds for Friends” was established to raise money for local folks who need help meeting the expenses incurred by sickness, medical conditions or follow-up costs.

Anyone familiar with the local music scene should know the name Billy Kopel. By day he was a landscaper. By evening (and weekends) he was a soulful crooner.

He was the main voice behind LowCountry Collection and was often seen performing at local watering holes invited to perform and pick with other local acts and includes such voices as Jamie Campanaro and Robert Hutto.

Through the years, Kopel volunteered his time to help raise money for local charities and fund-raisers.

He performed in honor of countless friends in the business suffering from life threatening illnesses, because unfortunately, many did not have insurance to pay their medical bills. Sadly, the tables turned and Kopel faced his own illness and no insurance.

Almost four years later the fundraising efforts continue.

The day begins with sign-up at 8 a.m. for a Captain's Choice golf outing at Patriots Point, 9 a.m. shotgun start.

The cost is $80 per player in advance, $90 the day of the tournament.

Entry fee includes golf, cart, drinks on the course and food afterward.

A team skins pot will also be available.

Hole sponsorships are available for $100 each.

For those who don't like the big course, there will be a miniature golf tournament held at Classic Golf on Ben Sawyer Boulevard next to Buddy Roes, starting at 11 a.m.

There will be a $20 entry fee with half the money going to cash prizes. $20 hole sponsorships will also be available.

Immediately following the golf, Buddy Roes' owner Ronnie Johnson will open his stage to many of Billy's longtime friends who will drop in and play some of Billy's old favorites.

There will be special food and drink prices all day, along with raffles for some nice prizes donated by friends.

To date, Funds For Friends, has raised more than $33,000 to assist groups like Dragon Boat Charleston and many individuals with financial needs.

Anyone interested in playing or sponsoring can call John Mingo at 843-209-4603 or Wanda Mingo at 843-743-4557.

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