Less than two weeks out from the June 2-3 14th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic at Belmar Golf Club and Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma and details are coming into focus. As in each and every of the preceding years, the biggest names in sports and entertainment are participating, with particular focus on a guitar signed by the top names in country music during a nationally televised tribute to Glen Campbell, and one signed by the late Merle Haggard.
At the same time, the event’s live and silent auction items continue to raise an already world class bar. And it’s all helmed by singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith, whose focus remains the good work of OK Kids Korral.
Saturday’s shotgun start golf tournament will have 21 morning foursomes and 24 in the afternoon. The preceding evening will feature food, music, a cocktail or two and more than 100 auction items. These include:
Live Auction: Guitar autographed by Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan, who performed a nationally televised tribute to Glen Campbell during the 10th Annual ACM Honors on CBS. Exclusive hunting trips. European and Mexican vacations. A guitar signed by the late Merle Haggard.
Silent Auction: Autographed memorabilia from sports icons Jimmy Butler, Jordan Spieth, Sam Bradford, Mia Hamm, Tom Brady, Jim Kelly and Pete Rose. Large group items including a cycle class, sushi lessons and dinner at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill. Memorabilia from The Flaming Lips, Zac Brown Band, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert. Art, furniture and local Oklahoma experiences including top restaurants. Silent auction bidding will be open to the public at www.hand.bid/tobykeith.
The point, of course, is fundraising to support Oklahoma’s sickest children and their families through OK Kids Korral. Father of three Chris Epps describes the facility’s work with his family, including his four-year-old Axel, who is being treated for cancer: “I love to watch the kids’ spirits change as they walk in,” he says. “When they first come, most are scared, confused and quiet, but as they make their way around and make friends with other kids fighting the same battle, they see they’re not alone. The smiles start to emerge and as they become closer to one another, the laughter and excitement rings out through the house.
“The Korral is set up like a kids wonderland with so many things for them to do and play,” Epps continues. “The staff are an amazing group of ladies who always make time for the kids no matter how busy their day is. The love and care in this house is infectious and consuming, and before long the friendships formed are like a true family. Without it, I don’t know how we would have made it to where we are today.”
Learn more about the event and ways to support OK Kids Korral at www.tobykeithfoundation.org.