News From Terre Haute, Indiana

On & Off the Course

June 12, 2010

On and Off the Course: Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic a worthwhile charity event

TERRE HAUTE — On Monday, I worked as a volunteer for the Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic, Golf Tournament and Auction at Eagle Creek Golf Course in Indianapolis. It was an absolutely beautiful day, with clear blue skies, just a few wispy clouds here and there and a high temperature of about 76 degrees.

It couldn’t have been a better day for a golf tournament. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was in attendance too, as The First Tee is a personal favorite of his, and he lends his support as best he can. Quinn Buckner is on The First Tee’s board of directors, and he was there, as were a few of Gonzalez’s teammates from the Colts.

Kyle DeVan, Colts’ starting right guard, and Curtis Painter played in the event. I was glad to meet Curtis Painter in person, since I watched him quarterback at Purdue.

Gonzalez has chosen The First Tee of Indianapolis to lend his name and support because he is impressed with their teachings of the Nine Core values to the children it reaches, along with the golf that they learn. Gonzalez said he believes that it is critical for today’s youth to be exposed to programs that will help them to become tomorrow’s leaders.

The fundraiser also included the silent auction. Some of the items being bid on were Colts signed merchandise; a helmet, football, and some jerseys, and two tickets to a Colts game in the mayor’s suite.

There were lots of “golf for 4” items to bid on at various golf courses. My favorite would have been the “golf for 4 at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, site of the BMW Championship and four tickets to Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals game July 24th. Another great item that golfers would appreciate was a Ryder Cup Flag signed by captain Corey Pavin.

After a meal was served, some special items were offered up for auction: Golf for a 3-some with Anthony Gonzalez at Crooked Stick G.C., and golf with Gonzalez at Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio.

The big-ticket items included resort stays. The first included a one-night stay at the West Baden Springs Hotel, plus 18 holes on the Donald Ross course and the new Pete Dye course. The golfers’ dream package was the biggest draw: A TPC Sawgrass Golf getaway. This included (for a foursome) 18 holes at the Dye’s Valley Course and one on the Stadium Course, home of The Players Championship, with the infamous island green 17th hole. With airfare and hotel, that package was auctioned off for $3,200.

The event should be held again next year, so keep it in mind as one of your charity outings.

• Quote of the Day — “It’s a lot easier hitting a quarterback than a little white ball.” — Bubba Smith, actor and former football player.

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