By Nathan Brown
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — After the Children’s Clinic Celebrity Benefit and Pairings Party Monday evening at Anderson Country Club kicked off two days of fundraising for the St. John’s Children’s Clinic, the event’s finale will tee off today with the Children’s Clinic Golf Classic, featuring teams of five golfers, pairing locals and celebrities alike.
Groups of four local citizens who either signed up together or were paired after registration will play 18 holes at Anderson Country Club to benefit the Children’s Clinic. Each group, 31 in all, are slated to be paired with both local and national celebrities, including former Pacers star Slick Leonard, IU athletics announcer Don Fischer, former IU football player George Taliaferro and former Butler basketball player Rotnei Clark.
The groups will tee off at Anderson Country Club at noon today in a Florida Scramble format and play a best-ball tournament. The top-three teams after the round will each win a gift card to use in the pro shop.
Randy Titus, who manages marketing and community affairs at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital and who has been a part of 26 of the 29 Golf Classics, said the event has always thrived because of phenomenal local support.
“Some people have played in our tournament probably every year,” Titus said. “They’re familiar faces, we see them every year, and they’re very gracious to come every time.”
Titus said that over the last few years, the fundraising abilities have begun to grow from the help of Brian Hammons, one of the original announcers on the Golf Channel and a current play-by-play host for the Champions Tour and PGA Tour.
Even after leaving the area, Titus said Hammons wanted to get involved in the community. Recently, Hammons has brought some of his colleagues from the Golf Channel to the event to help increase the excitement, and the fundraising efforts have followed.
Event coordinators hope that the new Celebrity Benefit, which is in its first year, will raise around $10,000, and the golf tournament has regularly raised about $65,000. But no matter the money raised, Titus said it has always been a fun afternoon of golf along with meeting big-name celebrities for Anderson residents.
“I think everyone enjoys seeing the national celebrities,” Titus said. “That’s what’s new. That’s different and has added an extra layer of excitement to the event.”