Monday, November 01, 2010
The Smiling Faces Of The 5th ziMS Foundation Golf Tournament
Smiling faces were seen all around the Red Wing Lake Golf Course on Saturday, October 30th.
A lucky hole-in-one on the 8th hole would score a Mercedes Benz from Mercedes Benz of Alexandria/Arlington.
Another lucky hole-in-one on the 13th hole would score a new Jeep from Hall Automotive.
And a third lucky hole-in-one on the 4th hole would give one golfer $15,000 in cash from GET Solutions, Inc.
Those were all great prizes up for grabs, but every single one of the 144 golfers who participated in the 5th ziMS Foundation Golf Tournament will tell you they came for the fun. They came to be with their friends. And they also posted up to help Ryan Zimmerman and his family fight Multiple Sclerosis.
How else can you explain another sold out event with 39 sponsors lining up to donate cash, gifts, prizes, food, drink and clothing in excess of $70,000. Golf Styles Magazine may well call Red Wing Lake a "Must Play" golf course, but it was camaraderie that brought so many of these diverse people and organizations together. Not just Major League Baseball players, friends and family of Our Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman, but doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, automotive dealers, bankers and even a freight train company--among many others.
Norfolk Southern, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Radman Radiological, Gee's Group Real Estate and Scott Wallace, D.D.S. together donating $40,000 to the cause. Under Armour providing special ziMS Foundation "heat gear" collard shirts and performance wear, while for the second year in a row, Sohna and I participated in our own unique way--again sponsoring the 12th hole.
Washington Nationals teammates John Lannan and Craig Stammen teed the ball up for the second year in a row as well and were joined in 2010 by Tyler Clippard and Hitting Instructor Rick Eckstein. Pittsburgh Pirate Joel Hanrahan was again back on the course, but was unable to play with his 2009 partner--Michael Cuddyer of The Minnesota Twins. Cuddyer was scheduled to play, but according to the Z-Man, couldn't make it due to a personal family issue. But to make up for that loss, The New York Mets David Wright joined Hanrahan's foursome which led to our personal favorite moment of the entire weekend.
Sohna and I were shuttling around the the Red Wing Lake Golf Course with the Gala & Golf Tournament Photographers for the weekend's events. Jake's & Sarah's jobs are to take pictures of each foursome that will be framed and sent to each golfer as a momento later. As we catch up to Hanrahan's and Wright's group in the fairway of the 11th hole, they are waiting for the foursome in front of them to clear the green. But even after the group pictures are taken, there is still some time to kill and Joel Hanrahan asks The African Queen whether she's ever played golf before?
"No," she responds.
"So let me show you how to hit a golf ball," says Hanrahan as he hands Sohna his club and takes a few minutes to instruct her how to stand and swing. David Wright then becomes involved telling Sohna where to grip her hands. "Choke up a little bit," he says, "It will give you a better drive."
Two Major League Baseball Players teaching The African Queen how to hit a golf ball. You can't make this stuff up.
And sure enough, Sohna rears back the club, swings down on the ball, and drives it right down the middle of the fairway!!
Yeah, she really did.
The looks and expressions on everyone's faces watching--priceless--hilarious too.
That one moment signified for us the fun that everyone came to enjoy this past Saturday. Hanrahan and Wright were just being great sports, enjoying their relaxing afternoon on the course while teaching Sohna what it's like to play another game they love--if only for a few minutes. That's one of many reasons we've attended the ziMS Foundation Gala & Golf Tournament each of the past three years. And that's why so many other like minded people return to Virginia Beach, Virginia each year now to help raise money to fight MS.
Ryan Zimmerman, his parents Keith & Cheryl, brother Shawn and their extended friends and family have made the annual ziMS Foundation Gala & Golf Tournament enjoyable to participate for EVERYONE. Yes, smiling faces were seen all-around again this past weekend in SE Virginia and they were for all the right reasons--Charity and Helping Others.
PS: For those keeping score, none of the 144 golfers were lucky enough to win either of the two vehicles nor the $15,000 cash in 2010. Maybe next year? The 6th ziMS Foundation Gala and Golf Tournament now officially scheduled for the weekend of November 4th and 5th, 2011.
All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved