Picture MLB All-Star Pitcher, Roger Clemens; former NFL Quarterback, Drew Bledsoe; and ESPN Sportscaster, Sean McDonough in a room together. No – it’s not the beginning of a joke, but the beginning of what would become a powerful night for Joy at the 11th Annual CCA Invitational.
These sports legends could have spoken at any number of events across the nation, but instead they showed up for Joy – recognizing the real impact laughter, music, friendship, and nature can have on a child facing serious illness. Between sharing personal stories from their sports careers, each guest took the opportunity to reflect on Joy in their own life and how Joy has the power to withstand even the most difficult of situations.
“I love the word Joy,” shared Sean McDonough, “it’s an underused word and the best of what life is about. Music, mentorship, and nature; those are unique to CCA and I think it’s a model that will be mimicked around the country.”
Drew Bledsoe reflected on why he decided to get involved with CCA. “I’m a dad and anything we can do to raise money for Joy is so important. CCA does exciting things to bring Joy into kids’ lives to try to make that easier and to me that’s a very very simple reason to get involved”
“Any time I get the chance to help kids and see their energy – that’s what it’s all about for me,” added Roger Clemens. And help kids he did, Clemens surprised bidders with a last-minute offer to join him at his home in Texas for a special batting-cage experience, which sparked some spirited rivalry among guests.
Teeing Up Joy
Hosted at the majestic Oregon Golf Club, the 11 CCA Invitational also welcomed 21 Oregon and Southwest Washington PGA golf pros, paired with amateur players vying for a purse prize.
The event began as a passion for founder Grant Hammersley, Vice Chair Opus Board of Directors, to inspire Joy for seriously ill kids and teens. After 10 years at the helm, Hammersley successfully passed the leadership to a steering committee led by Co-Chairs Bob Turnquist PGA Director of Golf Assistant General Manager at The Oregon Golf Club, and Jason Strobbe, VP Sales Strategic Accounts Vintage Wines Estates.
The event raised $470,000 in a single night and we are truly humbled by the generosity shown by attendees and special guests Roger Clemens, Drew Bledsoe, and Sean McDonough.
Connecting to the Power of Joy
Heidi Bruno, whose daughter, Holly, was served by CCA, engaged tournament participants during the reception and shared the lasting impact Joy left on her family.
“CCA was a huge part of the love we felt through the long hard days, months and years of Holly’s treatments and death,” spoke Heidi. “I often asked Holly how she felt about going to the hospital. I still can’t believe that her response was most often positive. She was always so excited to be with her Chemo Pal and knew that she could go to the hospital and feel loved, and special and spoiled. I feel honored and grateful for the opportunity I had tonight to share the joy and the love and the memories that were created in my life, and my family’s life and in Holly’s life because of CCA.”
Joy for the Win
Day two involved a full day of stiff competition on the course. Congratulations to winners of the tournament, Jim Armstrong and the team from OnPoint Community Credit Union – who was also the Invitational’s Presenting Sponsor – and our winning pros Tyler Wong and Scott Erdman!
The CCA Invitational was a huge success in no small part to our incredible Steering Committee members: Co-Chairs Bob Turnquist and Jason Strobbe, and Rob Gloeckner, Susie McDonald, Joel Slenning, and Eric Lautenbach.
And a special thanks to our sponsors; Presenting Sponsor – OnPoint Community Credit Union; Driving Range Sponsor – Joe’s Burgers; Rose Garden Sponsor – Go To Ortho; Celebrity Roundtable Sponsor – Prestige Care Inc.; Golf Cart Sponsor – Regence BlueCross BlueShield; Putting Contest Sponsor – Acme Construction Supplies Co., Inc.; In-Kind Sponsors – Vintage Wine Estates, Breakside Brewery, Mountain View Staging, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Legacy Whisky.
Finally, a thank you to our very special guests Drew Bledsoe, Roger Clemens, and Sean McDonough for their insight, stories, and personal generosity to support CCA’s work.
Looking for an opportunity to get involved with CCA and support Joy-based programming for 30,000 children and families? Consider attending our 2019 Wonderball, Joie de Vivre or Joy of Life – a night immersed in the delights of life in Paris.