Tampa, FL – On Friday morning, the fairways and tees at TPC Tampa Bay were not the sound of golfing again, but of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity.
When Bob and Donna Richie lost their son Jason to a car accident in 2009, they started raising money to help other kids like Jason who love sports.
“We didn’t know from the beginning where it was going to go,” said Donna Richie.
Their goal became the Richie Hockey Foundation, which provides scholarships and free clinics to young athletes in Florida and around the country.
“It’s about improving confidence. It’s about improving self-esteem and some skills,” Bob Ridge said.
read: St. Pete’s youth program teaches life skills through golf
Meanwhile, six years ago, the wealthy decided to up the ante and started hosting Legends of Sport charity golf tournaments to raise more money than ever before.
Now, the foundation has the help of Hall of Fame athletes like Warren Sapp and Barry Larkin, who have each played in the championship the past three years.
Richie Hockey Foundation, which provides scholarships and free clinics to young athletes in Florida and across the country.
“We talk about who’s coming, why, and I’m happy to be here every year,” Sapp said.
Since the foundation moved to the Tampa Bay area, the Richie Hockey Foundation has raised over $2 million and counting to help young athletes realize their dreams.
“Good people and better causes. That’s what I’m trying to say,” Sapp said.
True to the foundation’s beliefs, the weekend also includes free baseball clinics and hockey goalie clinics, coached by the same stars.
read: Sarasota teen wins Stephen Curry’s underrated golf tour
“It’s really important to us to understand that our time as pros, now ex-pros, is gone. So we want to put the game in good hands,” Barry Larkin said.
Over time, the annual event has become more than just a fundraiser. It’s an All-Star Weekend to lend a helping hand to the stars of tomorrow.
Charity golf tournament raised $300,000 for youth sports.
“I was that kid,” said Super Bowl XXXI MVP Dexter Jackson.
“And I know someone gave me the opportunity to show me the right way and what it takes to be a professional.”
This year’s charity golf tournament helped raise more than $300,000, in addition to the more than $2 million already donated by the Richie Hockey Foundation.