Pro-am tournaments, a gala dinner, and other special events led up to today's tournament play in the 20th annual Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
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The big social event during the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour stop in Toledo was the ALLTEL Gala Celebrity Dinner and Show Tuesday at SeaGate Centre with 2,060 in attendance. Bubbles floated in the air amid ice sculptures, silhouettes of female golfers, and a wall of golf pictures surrounding the number 20. The crowd bid on silent auction items and bought raffle tickets, then enjoyed a delicious dinner at candlelit tables centered with fresh-cut flowers.
As general chairman - the first female to hold the post for the tournament - Sheree Bargabos of Owens Corning welcomed everyone.
Video clips of past Farr tournaments were aired, and a few chuckles were heard as the crowd viewed footage showing Mr. Farr with black hair and tournament director Judd Silverman, well, with hair. Mr. Silverman unveiled a framed memento of past Farr tournaments for Mr. Farr and his wife, Joy. Then it was Ms. Bargabos who was surprised: Mr. Farr presented her with a 24-karat gold-covered rose, which was extra special because she was celebrating her birthday.
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It was Don Michel who asked his longtime friend Mr. Farr 20 years ago to help with the tournament. Mr. Michel said, "It's a community effort. Our goal was to make this the premiere event for Toledo, and I think we accomplished that with a lot of work, but a lot of fun."
Comedian Tom Dreesen, who entertained at the inaugural dinner 20 years ago, performed Tuesday. Headline band Huey Lewis and the News cranked up the volume with favorites including "The Power of Love," then turned down the decibel level to show their vocal talents with a capella renditions of early rock classics such as "It's Alright."
Several revelers danced in front of the stage, including celebrity guest Chuck Woolery, perhaps best known as host of the Love Connection TV series. Other celebrities included Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing on Dallas, and Ron Masak, who portrayed Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder, She Wrote. Masak remarked that Toledoans have become his adopted family over the years he has attended the Farr tournament.
Mr. Farr has been on the go all week since strutting into Highland Meadows Golf Club Sunday night, greeting friends, giving interviews, and cheering the golfers. Other tournament events include the Mercy Health Partners/Medical Mutual of Ohio Pro-Am, the Pepsi Junior Pro-Am, the Ronald McDonald House Charities LPGA Junior Clinic, the Toledo Edison/ProMedica Health System Pro-Am, the Dana Celebrity/Pro Challenge, and the McDonald Financial Group/Key Bank Celebrity Pro-Am.