Sunday, November 08, 2009

The 4th Annual ziMS Foundation Golf Tournament

Ryan Zimmerman, John Lannan & Craig Stammen from Our Washington Nationals.

David Wright from The New York Mets.

Michael Cuddyer from The Minnesota Twins.

And Joel Hanrahan from The Pittsburgh Pirates.

Just six of the 144 Golfers on hand this past Saturday at The Red Wing Lake Golf Course in Virginia Beach, Virginia. All participating in the sold out 4th ziMS Foundation Golf Tournament. The last half of the now yearly Gala & Golf outing dear to the heart of Ryan and his family. As you may already know, and well documented here on Nats320, The Z-Man's Mom, Cheryl, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1995. And beginning in 2006, Ryan founded The ziMS Foundation dedicated to the treatment and finding of the ultimate cure to MS.

Each and every year since, the Saturday Golf Tournament has gotten bigger and even better. No question, the Gala is a fun night out. The opportunity to chat and mingle with many who believe in the same cause. It's the reason Sohna and I first made our way to southeastern Virginia last November.

But the golfing helps bond everyone together.

There were 38 different sponsors at Red Wing on November 7th providing donations and services from $350 to $10,000. Norfolk Southern, Radman Radiological & The Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group topping all donors with their Grand Slam Sponsorships providing $10 Grand. Each Golfer also had the opportunity to take home four different cars--if they were fortunate enough to tee off and drive a hole-in-one at the 4th, 8th, 13th or 16th Holes. Kool Lincoln Mercury, Charles Barker Lexus/Toyota/Infiniti/Scion and Hall Automotive offering that "get your game on" chance. Under Armour (The Sports Clothing Manufacturer) providing golf polos. Gordon Biersch Restaurants & Breweries Lunch and Bottled Beer all day long. JFH Strategies along with "Hometown Heros" providing the main meal for the Golfers and ziMS Foundation Staff at the conclusion of the tournament--when the awards were handed out.

And just like last year, The Tiki Bar was back and going strong!! Dean Eitemiller providing the liquor all day. Hoffman Beverage Company--Budweiser Products.

This was also the season in which Sohna and I stepped up our participation. For 2009, Nats320 sponsored the 12th Hole. We had a great time greeting the foursomes as they came our way throughout the day. The sight of Joel Hanrahan explaining to Michael Cuddyer (his playing partner) what Nats320 is and the 'die hard fans they are'--absolutely priceless. In fact, Cuddyer--another Tidewater area native--was a real joy to chat with. Very personable. He told The African Queen and I later he had his "best drive all day on your sponsored 12th hole."

Michael also had both of us laughing when I asked him after the Golf had concluded: "What are The Twins going to do (moving to outdoor Target Field in 2010) if they play The Colorado Rockies in The World Series one day?"

Cuddyer: "White Out Baby!! It's going to be frigid!!" (very animated response--very funny) But you could tell, he was excited to see his Minnesota Twins move from the Indoor Humphrey Dome to Outdoor Target Field. Fun Guy!!

Sharing a few moments with Ryan Zimmerman after the event ended and chatting about The Minnesota Twins Rightfielder, Our Number 11 said: "Michael really is a nice guy and he wanted to be here to help support us. We couldn't ask for much more."

You could say that, as well, about all 144 Golfers and the many volunteers who made their way to Virginia Beach this weekend to support The Zimmermans' and their personal cause at Red Wing. How nice to see dozens of Zimmerman family friends pitching in and helping out in whatever way they could. Wonderful to see both of Ryan's Nationals Teammates--Lannan and Stammen--drive down from the Washington, D.C. area to participate. Gratifying to see The Mets' David Wright (and schoolboy friend of Ryan) bring his own group and play a round of golf. How decent to witness the local businesses pitch in and make the 4th ziMS Foundation Golf Tournament even more special.

We just missed out on a great picture opportunity as Sohna and I were driving back from our 12th Hole Sponsorship. But it was gratifying to see David Wright actually stop playing his round and drive his golf cart over to Cheryl Zimmerman and talk with her for some time. This one moment signified how much everyone on hand cared for the good cause this event was all about.

Yeah, there were 38 Sponsors, 144 golfers, and 300 folks at the Friday night Gala, but 74 more organizations and individuals also made contributions this weekend. When The Tiger Woods Foundation, The (Albert) Pujols Family Foundation, Starbucks, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Golf Digest Magazine, Glaceau/Vitamin Water & Our Washington Nationals help out in some way--clearly--The ziMS Foundation is doing something right. In a down economy year, individuals and groups found a way to make a difference for Multiple Sclerosis.

That's all you can really ask. A great time for a good cause. On a beautiful golf course that was Red Wing Lake this past weekend. If you would still like to help out Ryan Zimmerman, his Mom--Cheryl--and their famly--you can still donate at The ziMS Foundation website.

As for us, Sohna and I had another very enjoyable weekend in Virginia Beach and very pleased we could participate in some small way at The 2009 ziMS Foundation Gala & Golf Tournament.

All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


paul said...

Did you think it was odd that no other Nats were there?

Screech's Best Friend said...

No, not really. Sohna and I actually talked about this. We believe it's more a function of players being scattered all over the place and doing things with their families during the off-season. And, whether those guys play golf or not. We know for a fact, one player couldn't come due to an overseas trip planned well in advance. Otherwise, that person would have been there for this weekend as well.

TSAlston said...

Again, great job, I enjoyed both of your blogs from Virginia Beach, Great cause, a friends adult daughter has MS. I will make a donation to the ziMS Foundation soon. Was there any Metro DC media coverage there (e.g. MASN, The Post, The Times.) It seems to me such a charity event for a good cause sponsored by a local sports star is worth covering.

Screech's Best Friend said...

TSA: We did not see anyone from the media at the events. We were also not in the area leading up to the Gala, so we really don't know what the tidewater area newspapers, radio and TV did beforehand.

HondoFan said...

Very nice write up about a very worthy event. It's nice to see your level of involvement with a great cause.

Screech's Best Friend said...

We did find this video and story on the local Hampton Roads/Norfolk NBC affiliate on the 4th ziMS Foundation Gala & Golf Tournament:

Mr. NATural said...

Zimm looks great--is he lifting weights during the off-season? He's going to crush the ball in 2010.

Mr. NATural

Tom said...

So how did you and the AQ hit em??

Screech's Best Friend said...

Tom: We don't play--so we didn't hit 'em. just watched and had a good time enjoying the event and chatting with the golfers.

myinfertilitywoes said...

So cool that you gave us so much information on these events! Wish we could have been there and will plan to next year. We'll make a donation to Zims Foundation now too.

So great that Ryan gives back in this way and nice that you were a major sponsor. Thank you!