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“Pops n’ Pals”

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As I am sitting here watching my all-time favorite t.v. show in the world, “Sanford and Son,” I’m going to reflect on a great weekend. (By the way I own every season of this sitcom but I still have my DVR set to record every episode!) Over the past few days I was fortunate enough to play in the best golf tournament in the country. This makes my third consecutive year playing in the Children’s Charity Classic held at Andover Golf and Country Club and Greenbrier Golf and Country Club. The golfing atmosphere and quality of people involved with the event sets this great tournament apart but this is just the tip of the iceberg. For 29 years the Children’s Charity Classic has been raising money for children across Central Kentucky. Over the 29 year history, the event has raised more than 6 million dollars including over $630,000 this year alone. The 25th anniversary marked the biggest year to date with over 1.2 million dollars raised.

My time at this event has always been an enjoyable one but this has taken the cake. The Classic engulfs an entire week of activities and events. On Wednesday, in conjunction with the Larry Gilbert Foundation and the First Tee of Lexington the Children’s Charity Classic puts on a nine hole scramble at the University Club. The format is a 5 man scramble team made up of 1 celebrity and 4 First Tee Participants. Out of a random draw I got matched with 4 superstars and we brought home the bacon making a birdie on every single hole. The First Tee has to be one of the best programs going right now for young kids. Being that golf is such an expensive sport, this gives kids the opportunity to learn a game that could take them anywhere. This was the first time I played in this event and according to Doug Fylnn last since I beat his team by two shots.

Perhaps the most special event is the Celebrity Cabaret held on Thursday Night. Our very own Women’s Basketball Coach Matthew Mitchell has some pipes. Even Though he sang “Sweet Home Alabama” he was awarded a standing ovation by the entire ball room. David Vincent Williams the Song Writer for Rascal Flatt’s award winning song “I’m Moving On” along with other great song writers provided the musical entertainment. Every year these guys amaze me. The lyrics they write and the music they produce brings forth a show that you would have trouble finding anything better.

The Children’s Charity Classic is so much more than a golf outing but like I stated earlier the golf is absolutely superb! After two days of wonderful golf (Friday and Saturday), on two great courses The S & S Tire team made up of 3 Generations of Swentzels took home the crystal trophies. A family that has given so much to this tournament and to this community, it was a pleasure playing with Paul Swentzel and the Swentzel Family.

After all the long bombs and all the dropped birdie puts there is one thing I know I will remember about this year. The chance to sit down with guys who paved the way before I was even thought of. The chance to sit down and talk with Cotton Nash, Larry Conley, Jim Andrews, Mike Pratt, Derrick Hord, Dermontti Dawson and Johnny Bench was more than enough to make my weekend memorable. Jim Andrews told the story of Coach Rupp’s Game plan for LSU when “Pistol” Pete Maravich dropped buckets for the Tigers. Coach said let Maravich put up however many points but don’t let anyone else score one bucket. Big Jim said they won the game something like 90-70. Cotton Nash reminisced about Larry Conley’s scoring barrages, saying half of Larry’s points came of of his assist. He went on to say Larry never returned the favor after all these years. What a thrill it was to sit and chat with these guys about about everything. It is experiences like this that keep so many players around these parts.

The perfect ending to the perfect weekend…Enjoy one of my favorite clips from “Sanford and Son” and have a great week everyone!

Article written by Bobby Perry