In an era in which the sports pages sometimes seem to be a police blotter, Steve Mariucci and Tom Izzo are a fantastic breath of fresh air.
The two Iron Mountain natives are genuinely nice men who have not forgotten from whence they came, despite achieving great success in their careers.
They proved that again this week through their involvement in the fundraising events for Beacon House here in Marquette. Both are graduates of Northern Michigan University who shone on the football field (Mariucci) and basketball court (Izzo) while in Marquette and treat the community like it's home.
The Mariucci Family Foundation's 2013 Celebrity Golf Classic included events Wednesday and Thursday at the Marquette Golf Club. Mariucci - the former coach of the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions - was the host for the activities as well as the chief recruiter of well-known names to take part in the links action.
Right by his side for the fundraiser was Izzo, who led the Michigan State University men's basketball team to a national title.
The lifelong friends brought style and enthusiasm to the proceedings, which were designed to raise money for Beacon House, which offers a place to stay to patients from far away who are in Marquette for medical treatment along with their caregivers and other loved ones.
Beacon House makes a difficult time easier for families, making it a most worthwhile cause indeed.
Through Mariucci and Izzo's invites, celebrities like NFL kicker Jay Feely, former NHL goalie Marty Turco, former Detroit Lion Lem Barney and former Green Bay Packers Mike McCoy and George Koonce ventured to Marquette to play some golf for the cause.
Wednesday night, despite a wicked thunderstorm, guests enjoyed the Match Party to pair local participants with their new celebrity friends.
Celebrities also boosted the efforts by donating items for the silent auction, which helped bring even more funds to the Beacon House coffers.
We thank Mariucci and Izzo not only for returning to Marquette to help keep the Beacon House going strong, we salute them for being all-around wonderful people in an era in which criminals seem to be invading the world of sports.