Opening the Gates and Helping the Community at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Florida


Black Diamond Ranch is a private golf club community in Citrus County, Florida. Approximately 140,000 people live in the county about an hour north of Tampa, Florida along the Gulf Coast. Ben Defazio is the executive chef at Black Diamond and graduated from the Culinary Arts Program at Withlacoochee Technical College, which is about 10 miles from the club’s entrance.

“Give, and you will receive” rings true.

Defazio went to culinary school on a scholarship gifted by the Black Diamond Foundation; that’s an incredible coincidence.

“99 percent of the funds raised by the Black Diamond Foundation go back to the community. 100 percent of our donations stay local here in Citrus County which is extremely important to us. We give to the Citrus County Abuse Shelter Association, Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County and Community Food Bank of Citrus County to name a few,” Jill Ludowese, Black Diamond Foundation chair told us.

Since 2002, the Black Diamond Foundation has given 1.7 million to the local community

Since 2002, the Black Diamond Foundation has given 1.7 million to the local community

On Monday, January 23, 2017 the Black Diamond Foundation Pro-Am Golf Tournament will happen for a 14th year at Black Diamond Ranch on the Tom Fazio-designed Quarry Course. In 1987, Fazio transformed the abandoned limestone quarries into one of the most heralded golf communities in the world. Fazio designed all 45 of the holes in the private golf club community. Previous editions of the fundraiser were “inside the gates events,” for members only, but that’s changing.

“We want this tournament to be available for everyone. Last year we had 24 teams register for the tournament and we’re aiming for 30 this year. What’s most important is that we fill the field,” tournament organizer Jim Ludowese added.

And yes, Jill and Jim are married and have been members at the club since 2003.

The tournament matches teams of three amateurs with golf professionals from across the country. Entry fee includes breakfast, on-course food and beverage selections and hors ‘d oeuvres at the post-round award ceremony. This year’s tee gift includes a $100 voucher to select items at the on-site Titlist/Footjoy Mobile Pro Shop. Hole-in-one prizes include a Chevy Corvette, provided by Title Sponsor Crystal Automotive Group and a 2017 Masters vacation package valued at $18,000. This year’s long putt competition includes a $5,000 cash prize.

The Black Diamond Foundation Mission Statement reads, “We will combine the charitable resources and generous instincts of Black Diamond’s residents with our commitment to be good neighbors in Citrus County. Black Diamond Foundation will collect and distribute funds in a manner which enriches the lives of Citrus County residents, and demonstrates that the Black Diamond community cares.”

Since 2002, the Foundation has given 1.7 million to the local community. Entry is $400 per player and keep in mind this is a private club — however this is a fundraiser and anyone that wants to help make the world a better is more than welcome.

To register, Click Here

Additional questions? Email: [email protected]


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