Celebrities prep for U.P. golf outing

Laura Conway

To help raise money for the Beacon House, NMU Football coaches, boosters, and alumni are teaming up with the hospitality house for the first ever Upper Peninsula Celebrity Golf Classic Thursday, June 30 at the Marquette Golf Club. The Beacon House has a goal to raise $150,000 for operational costs that their guests need but can usually never afford.

Teams of four from the same sponsor draw a number for the order at which they get to pick their celebrity teammate that they will play a scramble game with. The increasing list of celebrities includes: Mike Freeman of CBS Sports, Jay Freely of the Arizona Cardinals, U.P. native and NFL coach Steve Mariucci, Danny Woodhead of the New England Patriots, John Hiller of the Detroit Tigers, Randy McKay of the Detroit Red wings, Dusty Collins of the Arizona Sundogs, and NMU President Les Wong.

The NMU football program said they are getting excited for the arrival of the NFL players who will be playing in the golfing event. Head coach Bernie Anderson always welcomes any visiting elite athletes to scrimmage or mentor his athletes.

“We would invite any NFL players to come in and be part of the summer workouts,” Anderson said. “It’s always impressive to be around people who were able to make it to that level and have that kind of success.”

There are ways to help support the event, such as becoming a sponsor or by paying to play in the event. Sponsors are anyone or company that donates between $1,000 and $30,000. Depending on the level at which a group sponsors, they will receive a package in recognition. Participants can also pay an individual entry fee to play in the round of golf.

Coordinator for the Celebrity Golf Classic, Mary (Tavernini) Dowling, said the celebrities are excited to play on this U.P. course. The main event will be held at NMU’s Greywalls golf course on Thursday, June 30.

“A lot of the celebrities have read about this challenging course in golfing magazines and are really excited to finally find an excuse to travel up here to play on it,” Dowling said.

These events are going to benefit the services that the Beacon House offers their guests to make what is already a very sad time in their lives just a little easier.

“One family’s daughter was in a car accident, the ambulance took her here from the eastern side of the Peninsula. The family jumped in a car and followed, having no idea what the situation was going to be,” Dowling said.

While she was in the ICU, Dowling said, her family had somewhere to come, shower, eat and be respected.

“When their daughter passed away, they wrote us a note saying they believed in angels because of the way they were treated here,” Dowling said.

Guests that stay at the hospitality house pay what they can when they can; a majority of the funding that keeps this non-profit organization going is donations from sponsors and guests.

For more information about the U.P. Celebrity Golf Classic or the Beacon House, contact Mary (Tavernini) Dowling at 906-360- 6000 or e-mail [email protected], respectively.