ANDERSON — Mark Calcavecchia is right at home in the Midwest.
So on Tuesday at the 30th annual St. Vincent Children's Clinic Classic, the former British Open champion found himself comfortable with the muggy conditions at the Anderson Country Club. He also found himself comfortable with the company. Calcavecchia joined about 30 other local celebrities and sports stars and 110 total participants who helped shatter the previous high mark for the fundraiser. All told, event organizer Marilyn Ault said, the 2014 iteration of the charity raised $115,000 for the St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital's Children's Clinic.
It was Calcavecchia's first trip to Anderson, but he said the conditions were in his wheelhouse. He grew up in Nebraska, and his wife is from Ohio, so he spends much of his time playing in the Midwest. He said he jumped at the opportunity to raise money for a good cause when he was approached with the idea by his friend, Anderson native and Golf Channel broadcaster Brian Hammons.
"It's been a blast. I enjoy it here, and these are some of the nicest people you'll meet," Calcavecchia said. "And the most important thing is, it's all for a great cause."
Hammons, a member of Golf Channel since its inception in 1995, acted as the event's host for the third straight year. He said he's been honored to take the role each time and to make a difference for his hometown. Hammons graduated from Highland High School in 1979 and also does work for Fox 59 in Indianapolis.
"This has gotten bigger and better every year, and it's my job to make sure that keeps happening. I want people to have a good time here," Hammons said.
Other notables in the event Tuesday were basketball great Quinn Buckner, local baseball legend Carl Erskine and former Pacers coach and announcer Bobby "Slick" Leonard.