There are several reasons for the lengthy list of star athletes and celebrities that make it a point to participate annually in The Showcase.
The cause – raising money to assist the fight against cancer in the region – is No. 1, with the experiences they enjoy over three days of festivities probably a key factor as well.
“It does (get bigger every year),” said Jon Neill, executive director of the Community Cancer Fund (CCF). “There’s just greater interest and with the quality of celebrities and the notable achievements in their sports that continue to want to be involved and ask to be involved – that’s the part that’s certainly very exciting for us. They want to help the local cancer patient community.”
Approximately 40 celebrities are scheduled to play in The Showcase’s 18-hole golf exhibition Saturday at the Coeur d’Alene Resort course. Two-time champion Ray Whitney, former NHL and Spokane Chiefs standout, is back to defend his 2022 title.
The guest list includes Wayne Gretzky, Marcus Allen, Larry Fitzgerald, Jerome Bettis, Byron Scott, Tyler Johnson, Mark Rypien, Dustin Pedroia, Tim Brown, Vince Coleman, Grant Fuhr, Mark Mulder and Ron Harper.
Tickets for Saturday’s golf exhibition, fan zone experience and autograph session with eight Gonzaga basketball players are available at showcasegolf.com for $20, with all proceeds going to the CCF. Kids 13 and younger get in free with a ticketed adult.
There is no parking available at the golf course. Spectators with e-tickets are asked to park at North Idaho College, and they will be bused to the course at no charge. Buses will begin running at 7:45 a.m.
The golf exhibition starts at 8 a.m. and will conclude at about 1 p.m. Only clear bags will be allowed on the property.
The Showcase’s online silent auction is up and running at showcasegolf.com. Items include a variety of uniforms, helmets, bats, footballs, baseballs, hockey gear, UFC and boxing gloves, acoustic guitars from Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley, among others, and numerous destination vacation packages.
Some auction items will be on display at the golf course.
The fan zone features entertainment, games, food trucks, beverages, birdie bar and beer garden. Zags scheduled to sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. near the driving range include Anton Watson, Nolan Hickman, Graham Ike, Steele Venters, Ben Gregg, Braden Huff, Dusty Stromer and Joe Few.
The Gee Automotive $1 million hole-in-one challenge returns to No. 14, more commonly known as home of the floating green. The gallery can root on its favorite celebrity taking a shot at acing the scenic hole, which usually ranges between 140-170 yards.
“It’s just a fun day for everyone,” Neill said of The Showcase. “When you look at the list of celebrities coming, they’ve claimed just about every noteworthy championship, the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, and there’s multiple Hall of Famers.”
The Showcase has raised more than $28 million in the fight against cancer since its inception in 2014.