By Michelle Colesanti

Nine years ago, Sammy Sullivan passed away at 22 months due to an unexpected illness. His parents, Joe and Brenda Sullivan, were determined to honor his short life and memory.

“My wife and I decided to create Sammy Sullivan Charities as a way to honor him and give comfort to others in their time of need,” said Joe.

In Sammy’s memory, the charity funded $400,000 to A Kid’s Place, a 60-bed, five-home, emergency shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected children. Their pledge was to build one of the five homes which shelter the children. The Sammy Sullivan Home was completed in April of 2009, and the Sullivan’s goal to raise $100,000 annually to keep the home funded continues.

The eighth annual Sammy Sullivan Charities golf tournament will be held at Summerfield Crossing Golf Club, which is located at 13050 Summerfield Ave. in Riverview, on Friday, October 10.  For more information, visit

On Thursday, October 9, O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Sammy Sullivan Charities will host a tournament kick-off party and live auction at O’Brien’s Irish from 7:30-10:30 p.m. The party will benefit Kids Charity of Tampa Bay and the Sammy Sullivan House.  Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Along with the live auction, which will begin at 8 p.m., there will be more raffle items ranging in value from $100 to $300. A chest of cheer and 50/50 tickets will also be available.

O’Brien’s is located at 701 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. The community is encouraged to come out and have a good time while supporting the charity.

Raffle items valuing about $200 to be donated for the event will be welcomed. For information about donating raffle items or to RSVP, call Catherine Ratcliffe at 314-2222 or e-mail cratcliffe@sullivan

Sammy’s father, Joe, said, “I think what’s important to Brenda [Sullivan’s wife] and me is to create more awareness for A Kid’s Place in Sammy’s memory, and to make the O’Brien’s function a memorable community event where all are welcome.”

Those who can’t attend the event can still support Sammy’s Charities at, or send a check (payable to A Kids Place of Tampa Bay) to Sullivan Benefits, 1105 Nikki View Dr., Brandon, FL 33511.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.