MARQUETTE - Memories that may last a lifetime will be jammed into a 24-hour whirlwind of activity for those lucky enough to participate in second annual Upper Peninsula Celebrity Golf Classic.
A trio of parties and 18 holes of golf, all held in Marquette, kick off at 6 p.m. Wednesday and finish up around that same time Thursday.
The event is a major fundraiser for Beacon House, which for 10 years has served as a hospitality house for patients and their loved ones who are receiving medical care in the area.
During last year’s inaugural Upper Peninsula Celebrity Golf Classic, Northern Michigan University President Les Wong, left, and event chairman Steve Mariucci talk while getting a bite to eat at the starter shack on the Greywalls course during this charitable event to benefit Beacon House. (Journal file photo)
Director of Development Mary Tavernini-Dowling said about $50,000 was raised at this event last year and Beacon House officials hope to near $100,000 from this week's event.
Steve Mariucci is the CGC's host and presenting sponsor for the Mariucci Family Foundation this year. He was honorary chairman last year.
Mariucci has a long connection to this area in general and Beacon House in particular. An Iron Mountain native, he quarterbacked Northern Michigan University to the 1975 national football championship, later going on to coach with the NFL's Green Bay, Detroit and San Francisco franchises.
Mariucci is currently a lead analyst with the NFL Network.
Mariucci was instrumental in getting a number of the 54 celebrities involved, including Izzo and a number of ex-pro sports players including Super Bowl champions Jim McMahon of the Chicago Bears and Edgar Bennett, Robert Brooks and George Koonce of the Green Bay Packers.
Others include NBA champions Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn of the Detroit Pistons, Rob Rubick of the Detroit Lions, Chuck Klingbeil of the Miami Dolphins and John Hiller of the Detroit Tigers.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday with the Match Up Party, which will be a drawing to match celebrities with the three- and four-person teams that have to be sponsors for all these activities.
It will be held at the L'Attitude and Waterfront restaurants, located in the same building at the end of East Washington Street across from Mattson Lower Harbor Park.
The drawing will be held at 7 p.m. to be followed by a live auction to be hosted by Mariucci and fellow Iron Mountain native and NMU alum Tom Izzo, who now coaches the Michigan State University men's basketball team.
Tavernini-Dowling said among the items expected to be available will be a set of eight skybox tickets for the Green Bay Packers' NFL game against Arizona this fall, a set of two season tickets for the Packers, a hotel-golf package at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and a time share at a resort in the tropical Cayman Islands.
Preceding Thursday's 18 holes of golf at the Heritage and Greywalls courses of the Marquette Golf Club will be a breakfast bar at the club.
Golf gets underway with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Exclusive spectator packages are available that also include entry into the parties before and after golf.
Events on the course for golfers include a Chevrolet Camaro and Malibu for a hole in one at specified holes and longest drive and closest to the pin competitions.
Lunch stations and hospitality tents will be available along both courses.
Finally, the 19th Hole Party is set to begin after the last golfers finish, expected to be around 4 or 4:30 p.m., which include gourmet food, prizes and awards and silent auction conducted by Mariucci.
A few sponsorship packages may still be available today, while spectator packages should be available at the last minute, according to Tavernini-Dowling.
Call Sue LeGalley at the Beacon House at 225-7100 for more information and availability.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.