Golf to Benefit Ronald McDonald House
By TERRELL LESTER
Editor at Large
STARS FOR CHARITY: In strong support of the Tulsa Sports Charities organization and the Ronald McDonald House are former football greats, from left, Steve August (Tulsa), Billy Simms (OU), Thomas Lott (OU) and Rusty Hilger (OSU).
Courtesy C.J. NOVAK
Tulsa Sports Charities and Ronald McDonald House of Tulsa have entered a partnership that will alter the name and image of one of Tulsa’s elite golf events.
Tulsa Sports Charities annually has staged a charitable golf tournament featuring former Heisman Trophy winners, National Football League players and various collegiate coaches and golf professionals.
On Oct. 31, Tulsa Sports Charities and Ronald McDonald House of Tulsa unveiled the new-look the House Celebrity Golf Tournament to be played May 19, 2014 at Cedar Ridge Country Club.
A quartet of former football standouts, representing the state’s three Division 1 university programs, gathered at the Tulsa Ronald McDonald House for the announcement.
Steve August (Tulsa), Rusty Hilger (Oklahoma State), Thomas Lott (Oklahoma) and Billy Sims (Oklahoma) have been consistent participants in the Tulsa Sports Charities Charity Golf Tournament.
Randy Allison of Tulsa Sports Charities said that 100 percent of the proceeds from the tournament will go directly to Ronald McDonald House of Tulsa.
“We are excited to partner with Tulsa Sports Charities on the the House Celebrity Golf Tournament,” Jean Ann Hankins, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tulsa, says. “The proceeds of this tournament will allow us to help families with seriously ill children who travel to Tulsa to seek treatment.
“The tournament will help us continue our mission,” she said.
In 2012, Ronald McDonald House served 560 new families – or, more than 1,600 family members. Over the past 22 years, has supported more than 22,000 family members.
The four football personalities spoke in warm and gracious terms about the work accomplished by the two organizations and the golf tournament.
August, who played in the following his career with the University of Tulsa, called the partnership of the two charitable icons “a great thing.”
“I have played in a lot of charity golf tournaments, and this is one of the most elite,” August says.
“The Tulsa Sports Charities directors, Tommy Thompson and Randy Allison, have done an outstanding job, a consistent job, managing this tournament.
“The partnership of Tulsa Sports Charities and Ronald McDonald House will be a great thing for this tournament, and a great thing for the city of Tulsa,” August said.
“I enjoy playing in the tournament, as do the other guys. But the tournament is not for us. It is about what we can do for the community,” he said.
Hilger, a father of two, said he attended the announcement because he was “on a mission.”
“And that is to help Ronald McDonald House,” he said.
Ronald McDonald House and Tulsa Sports Charities, he said, “are two of the greatest organizations I’ve been associated with.”
Sims has been involved with Tulsa Sports Charities for 13 years. The tournament, he said, “is a great event, even though I don’t play golf very well.”
Lott has played in the last two golf tournaments, but said those events, as carefree as they are, are not as memorable or as meaningful as meeting with youthful patients in Tulsa’s St. Francis Hospital.
The charitable direction of Tulsa Sports Charities, Lott said, “is a blessing for so many people.”
He took a page from his football playbook to put the spotlight on Ronald McDonald House and Tulsa Sports Charities.
“You might call Tulsa Sports Charities the offense. They have made things go. You might call Ronald McDonald House the defense. They are there to help families.
“They are coming together now into one great team,” he said.