Marques Harris golf scramble benefits District 51 football programs
There were plenty of things to play for, but the most important may be the high school football players.
Close to a dozen professional athletes participated in the Marques Harris Kids Foundation golf scramble Friday afternoon at The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa. Harris put on the event, along with a football camp today, to raise money for the Mesa County School District 51 football programs.
“You’ve got to give credit to Marques and Bud (Glover) for pulling this together,” Fruita Monument coach Sean Mullervy said. “These (players) are doing this on their own time, own dime and giving back to everybody. It’s good to see this many people supporting athletics in the valley.”
Harris, along with his former GJHS football and wrestling coach Bud Glover and former GJHS classmate Terry Jones and her husband, coordinated the event through their business.
“A lot of hard work went into this,” Harris said. “I’m happy with it for the first year. Our plan is to do this every year and make it bigger and better.”
A total of 36 teams competed in the golf scramble. Nearly a dozen had to be turned away because of the full field with four tickets to this year’s Super Bowl (pending the NFL lockout).
Close to $5,000 was raised in a bidding auction for the professional athletes as golf scramble partners Thursday night.
The players were San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer, defensive end Jacques Cesaire, Denver Broncos running back Lance Ball, linebacker Braxton Kelley, tight end Richard Quinn, Buffalo Bills defensive end Eric Pierce, Houston Texans defensive end Jesse Nading, former Colorado Avalanche hockey player Scott Parker, former GJHS QB and NFL QB Andrew Walter and former Fruita Monument QB and Tennessee Titans tight end Riar Geer.
“I have three best friends and Marques is one of them,” Jammer said. “Anytime he calls and needs me, I’m there.
“It’s great what he’s doing, raising money for the high schools. He’s doing a great job.”
There were close to 50 levels of sponsorships for the golf scramble, some businesses sponsored more than one hole or prize.
Two vehicles, an all-terrain vehicle and one Harley Davidson motorcycle were given away as prizes on four of the par 3 holes.
A silent auction was held after the golf tournament for prizes, proceeds from that will go to the football programs.
The four valley high school programs were required to find hole sponsors for the event and were responsible being there for assistance. The programs split the 18 holes based on how many sponsors they picked up for the tournament.
“You get a certain number of holes and the holes you fill are yours,” Mullvery said. “If we can come out of here with $6,000 or $7,000, whatever you can get is huge. That takes a big burden off.
“We had a fundraising goal of $30,000 this year. This puts us close.”
Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said an event like this is imperative to fund high school football programs.
“We make our kids go out and sell cards,” Owens said. “My plan is I don’t want our kids doing that. I hate having kids knocking on doors. I’d rather do things like this, or me out there and the parents. I think this will take some of the fundraising aspects off the kids and put it on the coaches and parents. Any money we can make now will be beneficial.
“I want to play an out of state game each year. I think it’s important our kids see that and see other types of competition. With all these cutbacks, you want to make sure you have the right gear. All that costs money.”
Harris is hosting a non-contact football camp for boys in grades 4-8 for the 2011-12 school year today at Mesa State College’s Bergman Field.
Children can register for the camp at 8 a.m. It is scheduled to finish at 3:30 p.m.