The Showcase officially turns five years old next week and the celebrity-driven cancer fundraiser has grown up in a hurry.
The event is back with another impressive list of celebrities, including newcomers such as Roger Clemens, Jim McMahon, Eric Dickerson and Marcus Allen, and returnees like Ryan Longwell, Shane Victorino, Bruce Bowen and Fred McGriff.
Local celebrities include Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, Tampa Bay center and former Spokane Chief Tyler Johnson, Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few and former Zags great Adam Morrison.
The Showcase’s first four years generated nearly $10 million, which the Community Cancer Fund distributed to the fight against cancer in the Inland Northwest.
“It’s been unbelievable,” CCF executive director Jerid Keefer said. “It has far surpassed anybody’s expectations when we established it in 2014.
“It’s a combination of things – the celebrities, the sponsors and it’s the end of July on Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course. The event is a lot of fun and it’s a high-level event, and when you combine it with the cause, it’s the perfect storm of variables.”
The festivities begin with a pairings party next Thursday at Gozzer Ranch, golf at the Coeur d’Alene Resort for celebrities/sponsors and a 19th hole party Friday, and a celebrity nine-hole event Saturday followed by the Summer Bash.
Spectator tickets for Saturday’s celebrity golf can be purchased for $10 each at showcasegolf.com. There will be three bands performing at the course as well as a beer garden. Former NHL wing Brenden Morrow returns after winning the last two celebrity tournaments.
“Our biggest advocates are the people who have come, whether it’s sponsors or celebrities like Ryan Longwell, who have been part of it from Day 1,” Keefer said. “They tell somebody they need to be part of it and that’s how you see it grow.”
The celebrity list includes The Voice contestant Preston Pohl, musician Kelley James and a number of retired or current representatives from several sports: the NFL’s Richard Dent, Roy Green, Seth Joyner, Sidney Rice, Neil Lomax and Bryan Walters; the NBA’s Desmond Mason and Truck Robinson; the NHL’s Kelly Chase, Russ Courtnall, Grant Fuhr, Barrett Jackman, Bobby Ryan, Sheldon Souray and Ray Whitney; NHL coaches Jon Cooper and Doug Weight; and Golden State assistant coach Mike Brown.
Keefer anticipates adding a few more celebrities to The Showcase roster next week.
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