Stars Will Shine for 27th Celebrity Tournament

Those who’ve made the Lowcountry their home, or just their homeaway-from home, are constantly reminded of the constellation of stars that come out every gorgeous Carolina night. And with any number of sports and entertainment celebrities making their off-season retreats to our area over the years, most everyone here has a story about seeing the “stars” out in broad daylight too.

But nowhere else is there a galaxy of stars shining for the good of the Lowcountry, day and night, than at the Island’s annual Celebrity Golf Tournament Labor Day weekend. This year, the 27th edition will feature three days of golf and parties at three of Hilton Head’s most treasured courses August 31st, and September 1st and 2nd. 

The low-key, relaxed atmosphere around the three-day event has not only made the tourney at “must-see” for Lowcountry stargazers, but also a “mustplay” for both area golf fans and the celebrities. Those personalities from the entertainment, sports, broadcasting and “real” worlds have told their pals about the great experiences with sponsors, volunteers and supports of the tourney, snowballing its growth over the past quarter-century. And the opportunity to spend a carefree weekend playing with a different celebrity each day and getting to know them as people, as well as achievers?

Well, there’s a long list of area companies, and individuals, who’ll give you the same answer as that credit card commercial. Priceless. And you don’t even have to play golf to be part of the Celebrity Tournament. Social packages are available that still get you involved in pre-and postround hospitality with the celebrities that includes dinner and parties, entertainment from the celebrities and even a Celebrity Auction.

There is also significant interaction between the “stars” and the kids involved in the “Kids for Kids” program that allows many area youth to meet their “heroes”, and even some of those heroes’ kids as well! While the 2007 list of celebrity participants hasn’t been finalized, they’ll join a roll-call of nearly 150 personalities who’ve entertained fellow players and galleries over the years during the rounds of golf, and the social events each evening. Former Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent and Hockey Hall of Famer Dave Christian were on two of the winning teams last year, as were comedian Gary Mule Deer and NBA star Joe Ward.

There wouldn’t be enough room at Home Depot and Lowe’s for all the career hardware won by last year’s celebrities. Baseball Hall of Famers Gary Carter and Ozzie Smith, Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon Miller, Grammy Winners Branford Marsalis and Paul Williams are just a few of last year’s participants and the list over the years includes everyone from astronauts Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell to Michael Jordan and Dan Jansen to Patrick Duffy and Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek. A couple of special foursomes in recent years who are expected to return will represent Marines returning from duty through the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort (Hall of Famer Johnny Bench asked for their autographed photo), and firefighters from New York City’s Engine 7, Ladder 1 that were featured in a 9/11 documentary.

Why do they come, and return year after year? The trio of honored golf courses certainly brings out their competitive spirit. As in past years, the event begins Friday at the Golf Club at Indigo Run, moving to the Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes Saturday before concluding at the Harbour Town Golf Links at the Sea Pines Resort for the final round on the Sunday before Labor Day.

But the real reason for the event’s longterm success has been the children’s charities throughout the Lowcountry that have shared in the nearly $2.8-million in proceeds from the Celebrity Tournament over the years. The 18 organizations that are beneficiaries keep the proceeds working in the Lowcountry to help provide food for the hungry, safety and shelter for the abused, clothing for the needy, quality day care, grief counseling, pre-school scholarships, summer camps for the disabled, medical and dental care and specific programs to give children a better opportunity for a sense of self-worth and direction. The supporters and the children benefiting from the tournament are also its best volunteers (over 250 in number), who often arrange their vacation time around the tournament to help make it a success for the 500-plus participants, and to enjoy the camaraderie with the tournament participants.

World-class celebrities playing on renowned golf courses, savoring the Lowcountry hospitality and lifestyle. All in the name of helping the children of our area. Is there a better way to enjoy the last holiday weekend of the summer? You can still becoming involved with the Hilton Head Celebrity Golf Tournament through one of their sponsorship or VIP packages by calling the tournament office at (843) 842-7711, or visit their Web site www.hhcelebritygolf.com.

 

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