Fred Funk & Tommy Zitiello Host 2nd Annual Champions For Hope Event Gala & Golf Classic Presented by Ally®

Funds Raised Help the First Coast Disabled Community & Fund Pancreatic Cancer Research

January 8, 2018 – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. – The Funk-Zitiello Foundation is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Champions for Hope Gala and Golf Classic with a new Title Sponsor, Ally Financial®. The weekend festivities will be held on June 15 and 16, 2018 and will include a charity gala and golf tournament held at TPC Sawgrass, home of the PLAYERS. This special event will benefit two important causes in our community – The JT Townsend Foundation and a grant to fund important pancreatic cancer research through the Mayo Clinic.

The JT Townsend Foundation continues to focus its efforts on helping children and adults living with disabilities receive adaptive equipment and resources to improve their lives. Since inception, the JT Townsend Foundation has helped 285 families with over $600,000 in assistance and adaptive equipment right here on the First Coast.

Mayo Clinic Jacksonville continues to pioneer research to find early detection methods for pancreatic cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

Judi Zitiello, Funk-Zitiello Foundation’s Managing Director, is a three-year pancreatic cancer survivor and this event is truly a personal journey for her. “I believe God gave me this time to make a difference. I choose to keep going in honor of all the champions who are no longer with us and those in the fight of their lives. We so appreciate our partners who have joined us to give hope to those who need it most,” said Judi Zitiello.

“We’re honored to support Champions for Hope and its incredible work,” said Tim Russi, Ally President of auto finance. “We share the team’s passion and commitment to giving back in ways that make a real difference and ‘Do It Right’ in the communities we serve. We hope their life-changing work serves as inspiration for others to give.”

The 2018 Champions for Hope weekend presented by Ally and supported by PGA TOUR, First Coast News, Swisher International and other companies will kick off on Friday evening with a gala that will be an inspirational evening to remember. The gala will include dinner, a silent and live auction, and entertainment by the Chris Thomas Band at the exclusive TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse.

Celebrities and guests will tee off Saturday morning at the famous TPC Stadium Course. Fred Funk, Blake Bortles, PGA TOUR golfers, Jacksonville Jaguar players and other celebrities attended the event last year. Ponte Vedra’s John Craig Clothier will present the winning foursome with custom fitted “Champions for Hope Purple Jackets.”


About Funk-Zitiello Foundation

The Funk-Zitiello Foundation was launched in 2016 by 2005 PLAYERS Champion, Fred Funk and local businessman Tommy Zitiello. The mission of the foundation is to to help the community by taking the challenges of individuals and establishing initiatives that can provide hope and funding to those dealing with extraordinary obstacles. The 2018 weekend event held on June 15-16th will support two local causes: the JT Townsend Foundation to help families living with disabilities and a grant to fund pancreatic cancer research through Mayo Clinic.


About Ally Financial Inc.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial services company and a top 25 U.S. financial holding company offering financial products for consumers, businesses, automotive dealers and corporate clients. Ally’s legacy dates back to 1919, and the company was redesigned in 2009 with a distinctive brand, innovative approach and relentless focus on its customers. Ally has an award-winning online bank (Ally Bank Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender), one of the largest full service auto finance operations in the country, a complementary auto-focused insurance business, a growing digital wealth management and online brokerage platform, and a trusted corporate finance business offering capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies. The company had approximately $164.0 billion in assets as of September 30, 2017. For more information, visit the Ally press room at or follow Ally on Twitter: @AllyFinancial.



For more information and media inquiries:


Champions For Hope

Pauline Gerry, AZMARK, Inc. 904-728-4722.



Brenda Rios, 313-656-6809.


To donate:

Visit: or mail check to:

Funk-Zitiello Foundation, 830 N. Florida A1A, Suite 13 #187, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082               (write Champions for Hope) in the memo section.

To get involved or learn more:



Follow:    On Facebook @ChampionsForHopeGolf or Twitter @Champions4Hope