The 9th annual Jimmy V golf and tennis classic was a fantastic weekend once again!
The volunteers and all the people supporting the event give so much to make it so special. There is no doubt that Jimmy V was smiling up in heaven, knowing all the beautiful fans and people in the area keep coming out in big numbers to support this worthy cause.
I got my chance to play some tennis. I was teamed up with former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins in a doubles showdown against ABC/ESPN personality Jack Ford and former Survivor winner Tina Wesson. It was quite a battle in the blazing sun, with Ford and Wesson coming through in pressure time, getting to the winner's circle, 7-6. Cremins was outstanding, as I did not give him the support he needed in the sweltering heat.
Then I hooked up for singles against Tina. Those young legs made the difference ... even though I act like I'm 12, I'm 63 years old ! With Bobby Valvano calling the action from the chair, Wesson marched on, 6-2. Her forehand got the best of me.
There were no losers in this event. It was a beautiful morning for a great, great cause. It was extra special because of out ball boy, 11-year-old Kevin Lynch. From Durham, Kevin was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, but with all the research, he is now cancer-free! That's what this event is all about, raising the dollars to fight the dreaded disease.
It's so beautiful to see!
There were so many celebrities out on the golf course: Charles Barkley, Jim Kelly, Vince Carter, Meatloaf, Jim Calhoun, Susan Anton, Mike Fratello, wrestling champions Ric Flair and Goldberg, Tony Siragusa, Nancy Lieberman, Mike Tirico. This year, the fans were really excited to see a great turnout by their successful hockey team, the Hurricanes. Team owner Peter Karmanos was there, and Bates Battaglia and Jeff O'Neill were very popular among the crowd.
The black tie affair was incredible with outstanding singing and dancing by Anton. The gala is so special every year!
Put it all together and it added up to be a wonderful event for a great cause. Remember, if anyone wants to help, they can make a donation by calling 1-800-4-JIMMYV. His motto was "Don't give up, don't ever give up" -- and it is oh so important to remember that.
The only way to find a solution to beat the dreaded disease is to raise the dollars needed to find a cure. Please give and give... it was an awesome event with a capital A!