By Liz Heidelberg
Celebrating and benefiting Special Olympics Texas, Coach Blair Charities will host the 13th Annual Celebration Dinner & Live Auction and Celebrity Golf Classic, Thursday, April 28, and Friday, April 29.
While coaching at the University of Arkansas 23 years ago, Blair started hosting golf tournaments to benefit the Special Olympics. Since the inaugural auction and tournament in Bryan/College Station, Coach Blair’s Auction and Golf Tournament has raised more than $1 million for Coach Blair Charities and Special Olympics Texas. The majority of funds for the local Brazos Valley Special Olympic Teams are raised through this single fundraising event held each year.
“Athletes blame this or that, but Special Olympians are just excited to compete,” says Blair, explaining why he continues to host the tournament year after year. “They just want a hug afterwards, and once you become a hugger, you’re hooked.”
The Celebration Dinner and Live/Silent Auction will be held Thursday, April 28, at the Brazos County Expo Complex in Bryan. Those who purchase tickets will enjoy a speech and dance from Special Olympians, and a catfish dinner from Outback Steakhouse. Alternative options will be provided for those who do not eat fish. MacResource Computers will be the presenting sponsor.
The tournament will be held Friday, April 29, at Traditions Golf Club. The Classic will be a scramble format, consisting of teams of four players plus a celebrity player. This year’s expected celebrities include former NFL and Texas A&M football player Steve O’Neal, College Football Hall of Fame inductee and former Texas A&M Football Coach R.C. Slocum, and Texas A&M Head Football Coach Kevin Sumlin.
“People that don’t golf can still contribute by coming to the auction,” Blair says. “Most of us have more than what we need, and it’s time to give back.” This year, potential auction items will include a dinner for 12 with Coach Blair at Café Eccell, a guitar and case autographed by Lady Antebellum, and a day with TexAgs. Tickets are available to purchase for $10 at C.C. Creations, any women’s basketball event, or in the women’s basketball offices located at the Cox-McFerrin Center for Aggie Basketball on the Texas A&M campus.
Coach Blair Charities is also looking for volunteers to help with both the Celebration Dinner and the Golf Tournament. No golf experience is needed. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.