The fund-raising was "off the charts" when the 24th annual Danny
Thompson Memorial golf tournament was staged Aug. 16-19 on the Elkhorn and Sun Valley golf
In fact, the Thompson Memorial is nearing the $5 million mark for a
quarter-century of its golf and social gatherings each August at Sun Valley.
Tournament director Georgie Fenton made the "off the charts"
remark Monday, after many of the 400 conventioneers had left with great memories of their
Fenton was very pleased with the response of corporate sponsors and the
256 golfers to the tournaments goalraising funds for leukemia research.
She said, "Im 95 percent certain well reach our goal of
raising a record $500,000." Last year the tournament raised $440,000.
In 23 previous years, the Thompson Memorial has raised nearly $4.5 million
for cancer research, split between the University of Minnesota Leukemia Research
Foundation and Mountain States Tumor Institute of Boise.
A highlight of the benefit was the seventh annual Thompson Memorial live
and silent auction Friday at Sun Valley's River Run Lodge.
"We exceeded last years auction by 30 percent," said
The most lucrative live auction items were a private jet golf trip that
went for $30,000, a 2001 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 that sold for $20,000, and two
tickets to a 2001 NASCAR race eventin the Valvoline team suitethat went for
Winning foursome in the two-day golf tournament featured Sen. Conrad Burns
(R-Mont.), Charlie Shipp, John Blount and Patrick Williams. They carded a score of 122-123
for 245 for their tours of Elkhorn and Sun Valley.
Sharing the gross-stroke mens title were Joe Augustus and Bob Okun
at 142, while Tim Hosking (127) was net winner. Womens gross winner was Lori Cornell
(166). Net champion was Lisa Piccione (139).
Among closest-to-the-pin prize winners were Haileys Johnny Unser at
Sun Valley Friday. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst was a proximity winner Friday
at Elkhorn. Basketballs Danny Ainge won longest drive on each golf course.
Playing in a foursome were Hurst, Danny Ainge, Don Ainge and Gary Sowards.
Don Ainge, who is Danny Ainges father, was this years
recipient of the prestigious Chairmans Award. Don Ainge, president and CEO of the
San Jose-based Ainge Marketing Services, has been a member of the Thompson Memorials
board of directors since 1987.
Fenton said the tournament should be bigger and better next Aug. 22-25,
when it will be held for the 25th time. Special celebrity appearances are planned.
Tournament organizers will single out those who have participated since 1977.
The tournament is named for Danny Thompson, a Minnesota Twins and Texas
Rangers infielder who died of leukemia in 1976 at 29.