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Hearty meal, fun day planned for a good cause

Roast pig, smoked turkey, entertainment and an auction will raise money in the name of a colleague who died unexpectedly.

By JON WILSON

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 16, 2001


ST. PETERSBURG -- A former high school athlete, Matt Bostic was 21 years old and, as far as anyone knew, enjoyed perfect health.

So it seemed no big deal a year ago when he decided to run a 50-yard dash in the company parking lot.

Something went wrong in the spontaneous, after-work challenge race.

Bostic finished it and collapsed. Work colleagues tried CPR. Paramedics arrived. But the young man who played soccer and kicked field goals for Boca Ciega High School's football team had died of a heart attack just 10 days before his 22nd birthday.

"It was a tough deal," said Robert C. Swift, the vice president of operations for Global Access Unlimited, the midcounty company for which Bostic worked as an account executive.

He also played on the company's flag football team.

"We're kind of like a family here," Swift said. "Most of these guys who work for us are like our kids."

To honor their colleague, company employees are creating a memorial scholarship and research fund. The first fundraiser is Saturday at Global Access Unlimited, 11515 66th St. N.

It starts at 5 p.m. and the public is invited. Swift says it will become an annual event. A $10-per-person charge covers a meal of roast pig and smoked turkey. Games, entertainment and an auction are planned. Professional wrestlers and comedian G. David Howard will be present. The area's professional sports teams have donated items for the auction.

Last year the company took up a collection for a scholarship and built football goal posts at Boca Ciega, Swift said.

"We wanted to take it a step further," he said.

Plans call for the company to donate a yearly $1,000 scholarship to a Boca Ciega student. Additional money raised will go toward research aimed at preventing the sudden deaths that sometimes strike otherwise healthy athletes. Swift cited as another example the death of Florida State football player Devaughn Darling, who died in February after a strenuous workout.

The yearly fundraising goal is $10,000, Swift said.

For information, or to make a donation, call 538-2528.

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