Scott Fischer Charities presents $60,000 to Valerie’s House to help children coping with grief and loss

Scott Fischer proudly presented a check for $60,000 to Valerie’s House founder Angela Melvin from funds raised during the 25th Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational.
(Photo l to r: Mary and Scott Fischer, Angela Melvin)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Scott Fischer Charities proudly presented a $60,000 check to Valerie’s House to assist with its mission of helping children and families work through the loss of a loved one together and go on to live fulfilling lives. The donation was originally $20,000 raised through the generosity of sponsors and golfers at the 25th Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational organized each year by Scott Fischer and Lisa Farrell-Sands. Upon learning of Valerie’s House and empathizing with its mission, two additional donors matched that amount, tripling the total donation to $60,000.

“We were so amazed by the generosity of Slaw Dog Invitational sponsors and golfers that resulted in a record-breaking 25th anniversary charity golf event,” said Fischer, founder of Scott Fischer Charities and owner of Scott Fischer Enterprises. “To be able to triple the amount of our donation to Valerie’s House is just incredible and will truly have a greater impact on these children and their families who are suffering unimaginable loss. To know that they are not alone, and that together we can help them through one of the most challenging times of their lives is so important as they try to move forward.”   

The vision of Valerie’s House is that no child will grieve alone. With locations in Fort Myers, Naples, Charlotte County, and Pensacola, Valerie’s House is a special place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love, and that loss doesn’t have to limit their dreams. The dedicated staff and many of the volunteers have lived this journey and genuinely want to help children find hope. 

“All of our resources go directly to providing a safe place for children to share, grieve, and grow, and that includes programs for the parents or caregivers in the family too,” said Angela Melvin, founder of Valerie’s House. “Our services are free of charge for grieving families, and children can remain in the program for as long as they need. The generosity of the community through volunteering and donations like this make all the difference in the world.”

Fischer and Farrell-Sands have carried on the invitational tournament in memory of Paul Sands and his legacy impact on the community. What started on a whim as two close friends reflected on the upcoming holidays after a round of golf, has grown into one of the most highly anticipated annual charity golf tournaments. The first Slaw Dog Invitational raised $5,000, and by 2021, $106,000 was raised in its 25th year with proceeds split between three local charities. 

Generous donations have helped to consecutively surpass the event’s annual fundraising goals. David and Charlyn Veracka, representing the entire Rockstar Harley-Davidson family, upped the game by donating $50,000 in 2020, and then matching up to the first $50,000 raised in 2021 to help the event set another record. 

The 25th Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational was held on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at the Cypress Lake Country Club.