Golf tournament honors a beloved friend

Golf tournament honors a beloved friend
This Tampa Bay Lightning jersey hangs in the Flippin’ Mullet Sports Bar in memory of Nancy Franklin. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

CORTEZ – The life and legacy of Nancy Franklin will be celebrated with the inaugural Nancy Franklin Flippin’ Mullet Open Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 18.

Franklin was the Swordfish Grill and Flippin’ Mullet Sports Bar bar manager when she passed away on April 15, 2018, after battling cancer.

Proceeds from the tournament and after-party will benefit The Blessing Bags Project that provides bags filled with comfort items, quilts, supplies and more to homeless and housing-challenged youths.

Nancy remembered

“We’re doing this to keep alive Nancy’s joy of giving,” Swordfish Grill General Manager Bob Slicker said. “She did so many good things for our community and it’s an honor to do this and make it something that will continue in Nancy’s honor. She was an important and loved member of our Cortez tribe.”

Golf tournament honors a beloved friend
Nancy Franklin passed away last year but her legacy lives on. – Submitted | Facebook

Swordfish Grill manager Katrina “Kat” Cox said, “Nancy Franklin was a special kind of person. She could always put a smile on my face no matter what else was going on. Whether we were at work, tailgating in the parking lot or heading to a Lightning game it was sure to end with a smile on your face and your sides hurting from laughing. Her unique sense of humor was one of the things I loved most about her. She was a very caring person who would do anything she could to help a friend in need.

“She is largely responsible for the success of the Flippin’ Mullet Sports Bar. She organized bus trips, watch parties and other events – many of which raised money for her favorite local charity, The Blessing Bags Project. If there is one thing I learned from Nancy, it’s to live life to the fullest and enjoy the most out of every day. As Nancy would say, ‘It would be rude not to!” Cox said.

Swordfish Grill Manager Greg Koeper met Franklin nearly 30 years when she worked at the Lone Star Steakhouse in Bradenton.

“We developed a lifelong friendship and she came to work for me when I opened Grego’s Almost to the Beach Tavern. She then ended up being our bar manager at the Swordfish Grill and she established the Flippin’ Mullet as a sports bar and watch party location for Lightning games. She’s dearly missed,” Koeper said.

“Any day with Nancy was a memory in the making filled with love, laughter, camaraderie and shenanigans.”
– Nora Davis

Franklin’s friend Rose Lipke said, “I am so happy to see Nancy being honored this way and happy that it will continue in her honor as an annual event. She made all the fundraisers and charity events we did an absolute joy to be a part of. I miss her spirit, her kind heart, her wicked sense of humor and her no-nonsense demeanor. She is so very missed by so many.”

Franklin’s friend and former co-worker Nora Davis’ fond memories of Franklin include tailgating after festival set-ups, hanging out in the parking lot after work, ‘Sunday bubbles’ at the Bonefish Grill, bus trips to Lightning games and the Tom Petty concert they attended in 2017.

“Any day with Nancy was a memory in the making filled with love, laughter, camaraderie and shenanigans. No matter what you were going through or how bad you thought your day was going she could always put a smile on your face. I learned a lot from her and she touched my life in ways I could never explain. I miss her and she will always be a part of me, which makes me blessed,” Davis said.

Golf tournament honors a beloved friend
Katrina “Kat” Cox, Nora Davis, Tori Lee and Nancy Franklin shared many good times together. – Submitted | Facebook

Swordfish Grill bartender Tori Lee said, “I always called Nancy ‘Mama-Nance’ because she was loving and caring but she’d beat your butt if you needed it. She was one of the coolest, laid-back ladies I’ve ever met. She taught me to not be so serious all the time and to just go with the flow – and also to order a pot of coffee when you stay at a hotel. I miss her every day.”

Tournament info

Teeing off with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m., the tournament will take place at the Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Club in Bradenton and include a longest drive contest, a closest to the pin contest and an opportunity to win a new car for shooting a hole in one.

Golf tournament honors a beloved friend
The inaugural Nancy Franklin Flippin’ Mullet Open Charity Golf Tournament will be played on Saturday, May 18.

The entry fee for the two-person, best ball scramble is $80 per golfer and includes 18 holes of golf, cart fee, a goodies bag and lunch and an after-party at the Flippin’ Mullet. Non-golfers can attend the lunch and after-party for $25.

The after-party will include fundraising raffles and a silent auction. Hole sponsors and raffle and silent auction item donors are still sought.

To register for the tournament, sponsor a hole or donate items, email Cox at, call 941-525-0673 or stop by the Swordfish Grill at 4628 119th St. W. in Cortez. You can also contact Koeper in person or by phone at 941-447-5287.

The Anna Maria Island Sun is the media sponsor for this event.