My great friend, Beth Bader, and I held the inaugural Bader/Sharp Shootout this past week at Seville Golf and Country Club, my home course in Phoenix.
It is truly amazing how fast time flies. In April, Bo Preston, Seville's director of golf, suggested that we set up a pro-am tournament in which the pros get to play for a purse. The idea transformed into a huge charity tournament.
I used to have an annual charity event in Brantford, Ont., called the Alena Sharp Charity Classic that raised money for Alzheimer's. Beth's mother passed away from pancreatic cancer and her family has been raising money for research the past seven years.
Neither of us had our charity tournaments this year, which led to us hosting the Bader/Sharp Shootout for Alzheimer's this year and for pancreatic cancer next year.
We truly could not have got this event off the ground without the help of Bo because he got the membership at Seville interested and heavily involved in the tournament. Beth and I are very thankful to Bo and to Seville's members for playing in our first annual.
All summer, we have been collecting items — golf clubs, bags, balls, gloves and shoes — to auction off. And a lot of our friends on the LPGA Tour helped out, especially the tour reps. These items were used as prizes and for an silent auction. I'm not aware of many events where you can head home with a Tour driver, fairway wood, hybrid or putter.
The best thing about the Shootout was it took place during Alzheimer Awareness Month. We had a cocktail party to kick off the event on the Wednesday evening. What made it so special was it was World Alzheimer's Day. Basically, most everyone playing in the event attended the party. Thank you to our LPGA friends — Dina Ammaccapane, Amanda Blumenherst, Sara Brown, Danielle Downey, Sarah Kemp, Paige Mackenzie, Michelle McGann, Samantha Richdale and Adrienne White — you definitely made the day more memorable!
When Thursday rolled around, we were ready to play in the Shootout. Everything rolled so smoothly all day. Purple is the colour associated with Alzheimer's and every tour pro wore purple. A lot of participants were wearing purple as well. It was such a sight. We put on a nice clinic prior to the shotgun start, then away we all went in the hot desert sun!
We had 11 groups with 11 LPGA pros, so the round went by fairly quickly. Everyone had a wonderful time playing with their respective LPGA pro and Bo arranged for dinner to be served outside by the pool. It was a beautiful setting.
We're proud to say that we raised over $11,000 US. The money will stay locally with the Alzheimer's Association, Desert Southwest Chapter. In particular, the money will go to people living with Alzheimer's and their families in the Southwest Chapter. It will go into the programs that help these people and won't go to administrative costs — that was important to me.
I truly hope that it helps the community. That's why we worked so hard to make the day memorable. We will only continue to raise the bar and raise more money for both Alzheimer's and pancreatic cancer in the near future.