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Peter Ligotti
Peter Ligotti, front, and his wife, Emily, speak to a crowd of more than 60 people on May 20 at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside following his release from the hospital. Ligotti suffered a traumatic brain injury during an April 4 mountain bike accident. Photo by Steve Puterski
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‘Bike to Peter’ event honors injured Callaway Golf employee

OCEANSIDE — It was an emotional day as 60 Callaway Golf employees rolled up to Tri-City Medical Center to visit one of their own.

The crew came in support of Peter Ligotti, an employee at Callaway Golf, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken cheekbone and orbital socket and spent 22 days in a coma following an April 4 mountain biking accident.

Since then, he’s spent his days at Tri-City but was released to his family on May 20 to continue his rehabilitation, which may take between six months to two years, according to Emily Ligotti, Peter’s wife.

But for Peter Ligotti, just being able to see his friends and co-workers was more than enough to lift his spirits.

“It shocked me how many people came,” he said. “It shocked me how many parts of my life were represented by people who suffered their own losses and risen over their own things. I saw everyone who helped me holding a sign and that meant the world to me. And those are people who work here (too).”

One of Ligotti’s responsibilities at Callaway was organizing the company’s yearly “Bike to Work” day through the Callaway Golf Foundation, which he has been doing for more than 15 years. The company donates $100 per rider to the Mira Mesa-based Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Peter Ligotti
More than 60 friends, family, co-workers and hospital workers celebrate Peter Ligotti, right, on May 20 at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside. After suffering a traumatic brain injury during a mountain bike accident, his co-workers organized a “Bike to Peter” event. Photo by Steve Puterski

In the spirit, the company continued Ligotti’s efforts, but with a twist as they dubbed May 20 “Bike to Peter.” They raised $6,100 for the foundation as the riders took to the streets from the company’s Carlsbad headquarters making their way to Tri-City.

In total, Callaway has donated more than $100,000 to CAF, according to Jeff Norton, spokesman for Callaway.

Ligotti, who’s been with the company for more than 20 years, has been active for most of his life, according to CAF co-founder Bob Babbitt. Ligotti played golf with Tiger Woods at Stanford and since his college days has been an avid mountain biker and surfer, to name a few, Babbitt said.

Ligotti’s competitive drive, though, is why Babbitt said he believes Ligotti will be able to overcome his injuries.

“You name it, the guy does it,” Babbitt said. “What happened to Peter … we see that with our athletes. It’s community and sports that bring them back. At this point, it’s community and eventually, it’ll be sports.”

At work, Ligotti brings a stable and positive presence to the office, Norton said. While news of Ligotti’s injury hit the office hard, support from friends and co-workers has kept up his spirits, Ligotti said.

During his time in the hospital, visits from co-workers and friends are what kept him going, Ligotti said. And the support system, Emily Ligotti said, has made a difficult situation a little bit more manageable.

“We just wanted to continue that tradition,” Norton said. “Of course, we were thinking about him when he got hurt … and offering support. We just wanted to show we’re thinking about him and the work he does here.”