APALACHIN (WBNG) — Dozens of players from across the country gathered at the Links at Hiawatha Landing to tee off at the 18th Annual Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant All-Star Golf Tournament.
Established in 2002 by Security Mutual Life, The Broome County Urban League and Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant with members of The Black Aces.
On Thursday, more than 30 celebrities teed off to raise money for four local charities.
“We all get together because we realize we didn’t do it on our own and that’s the message we want to convey to a lot of young kids that if you try hard and prepare yourself, the opportunities come along, you’ll be ready to take advantage of them,” said Al Downing, a record-breaking All-Star pitcher.
While for charity, it wouldn’t be a tournament without friendly competition.
“The competition is fierce to the point where someone wants to shoot 15 under or maybe 16 under and maybe if you’ve got a good eraser on your pencil, maybe 18 under,” said Fergie Jenkins, 1991 National Baseball Hall of Fame Member.
However, this year namesake Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant was not able to attend for medical reasons. But, that did not stop others for playing the game in his name and keeping him in their mind.
“To see him here every year and the spirit he brings to the function, we’re going to miss that, but never the less he’s with us in our heart because he’s been such a great friend to everybody and he’s a major part of this,” said Downing.
Money raised goes to the Broome County Urban League, Catholic Charities of Broome County, CHOW and The Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton.
“It is amazing to be apart of this event. It is a wonderful event, it has been in the community for a long time and all four of the charities are just thrilled to be asked to be apart of this and knows our community cares enough about our organizations that they want to be here to help,” said Marybeth Smith the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton.
Organizers said they have spoken with Grant and he said he hopes to be well enough to attend next year’s event.