Singer, songwriter, entertainer and philanthropist Toby Keith is calling it "Lucky 13," but exactly who stands to benefit from the weekend's good fortune is likely open to debate. The13th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic will be held June 3-4 at Belmar Golf Club and Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma.
From the opening night "Denim & Diamonds" gala and its always stunning auction items, to surprise musical performances, to Saturday's twin shotgun start golfing and prizes, to an all around great time for approximately 750 attendees, to - last but definitely foremost - significant funds raised to further the good work of The Toby Keith Foundation, there's a lot of good packed into the event's two days.
"Driving back and forth, sometimes five days a week, is too much on anyone let alone a sick two-year-old," says Kingfisher, OK resident Shannon Bollenbach, whose family has called the Foundation-supported OK Kids Korral home for the last 18 months. "The staff and volunteers have been amazing. Jase, along with myself and family, have grown to love these people. The other families that have been here become your family ... they understand our hurt, our constant sadness, our heartaches, along with our joy, happiness and good days. Thank you to everyone [who] has made this journey easier on us [and has] loved my baby along the way."
At the auction, last year's highest bid item is back: A week for five couples at Toby Keith's Cabo beach house. Other big ticket live auction offerings include a stay at Wyoming's Brush Creek Resort, two weeklong tickets to all four of golf's majors plus The Players, African Safari, an autographed Eagles guitar and an "Outlaw" Tribute Concert poster celebrating the music of Waylon Jennings signed by event performers including Keith, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Eric Church, Alison Krauss, Jessi Colter, Jamey Johnson, Chris Stapleton and Shooter Jennings.
Silent auction items include signed memorabilia from Willie Nelson, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Tiger Woods, Dick Butkus, Derek Jeter, Phil Mickelson and Brett Favre. Concert tickets will be up for bid from Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, George Lopez and Jimmy Buffett. Other offerings include his-and-her Apple watches and four tickets to the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Mobile bidding will be available to attendees for the first time through a partnership with GiveSmart.
Saturday's day of golf will again include the Built Ford Tough Shootout, where the winner will drive off with a new truck.
About OK Kids Korral:
A cost-free home-away-from-home for pediatric cancer patients and their families being treated at the Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center, the facility has been open for two years. In 2014, the Korral hosted 390 family visits ranging from overnight stays to months at a time. Last year that almost doubled to 720 family visits. On average families stay four times annually and each visit lasts about five days.
Korrall Kids Buddy and Axel
Korrall Kid Jase
Korrall Kid Dani and her parents