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Friday, July 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Showcase cancer fundraiser canceled by coronavirus pandemic

Football great Marcus Allen waves to the crowd during the Showcase Celebrity Golf Exhibition at The Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course in July 2019. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Football great Marcus Allen waves to the crowd during the Showcase Celebrity Golf Exhibition at The Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course in July 2019. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

The Showcase celebrity golf event, which raises money annually to fight cancer in the Inland Northwest, won’t take place this next summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers had big plans for The Showcase, which has raised over $17 million since debuting in 2014. The popular event, which was scheduled for July 30-Aug. 1, includes two days of golf at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course featuring numerous former professional athletes and celebrities.

“As we sit here today, there’s just so many uncertainties, not only what next week looks like, but what it looks like the next few months,” tournament director Jerid Keefer said. “Businesses are doing their best to stay on their feet, the economy, travel, there’s so many things up in the air right now.

“Putting on an event is one thing, but our goal is to raise money for cancer in the Inland Northwest. With all those variables, it was tough to see a clear path forward. Putting on anything less than an exceptional project was just something we didn’t want to do.”

Past Showcases have featured dozens of former NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL stars, including Wayne Gretzky, Marcus Allen, Roger Clemens, Jim McMahon, Grant Fuhr, ex-Spokane Chiefs Ray Whitney and Tyler Johnson, and Mark Rypien, former Washington State quarterback and Super Bowl MVP.

Plans were in the works to boost attendance, possibly up to 5,000, at the golf event. Northern Quest Resort & Casino was set to begin a five-year agreement as presenting sponsor.

“It’s disappointing for this year,” Keefer said, “but we can use it as advance planning for next summer.”

Keefer is optimistic the Holiday Bash fundraiser will go on this winter. Gonzaga players wore custom-designed uniforms in a Dec. 21 victory over Eastern Washington to help raise awareness of the Community Cancer Fund and the fight against cancer. Gonzaga’s logo and numbers matched the CCF’s colors. There was also a postgame concert at GU’s Martin Centre.

“The Community Cancer Fund is working with partners in the community to facilitate those day-to-day needs of cancer patients,” Keefer said. “We’ve had a number of people reach out that said, ‘Hey, you can still count on us.’ ”

Those wishing to donate are asked to visit communitycancerfund.org.

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