The Jamie Farr Toledo Classic presented by Kroger, Owens Corning, and Owens-Illinois Inc. has been one giant reunion of friends as volunteers gathered in the name of charity to help make this year's golf tournament another success. While the ping of the balls against the clubs could be heard amid the silenced gallery, there is much more to the tournament than golf. More than 1,200 volunteers helped with the week, some taking vacation to serve as hole captains, walking scorers, and caddies; staff players' tents, provide shuttle service, and more.
Fans were everywhere, socializing and watching the golf from the clubhouse patio, the Champions Tent, the public pavilion, in the sky box, and on the course.
Jamie Farr was like an Energizer bunny going from one event to another, giving his smile to everyone.
The Hollywood Casino Gala Dinner and Show at the SeaGate Convention Centre Tuesday night officially kicked off the event. Giant silver "tee" vases topped with white golf ball-shaped flowers, decks of cards, sheer fabrics, crystal chandeliers, and life-sized Hollywood screen star cut-outs of figures such as Marilyn Monroe decorated the hall for the event attended by 1,600 people.
Emcee Diane Larson of WTVG-TV, Channel 13 quieted the audience and Richard St. Jean, general manager of Hollywood Casino Toledo, welcomed everyone. Mr. Farr, a Toledo native best known for his role as Corporal Max Klinger on M*A*S*H, received a standing ovation. Mr. Farr has since been in movies, television, and stage productions.
Before anything else, Mr. Farr paid respects to the late Michael Hill, past Farr chairman, who died a week ago.
Recognized were University of Toledo football legend Chuck Ealey and Don Michel, Mr. Farr's childhood friend who provided the money for the first two years of the tournament.
Also recognized were Mike Whan, LPGA commissioner, and Judd Silverman, Farr tournament chairman, Farr general chairman Tony Caracciolo, volunteer chairman Heather Kohlar, gala event chairmen Carol Gibbs and Chris Wicks, and many others.
Sports director Dave Holmes of WTVG-TV, Channel 13 said "this is our event... and it's back!"
David Garibaldi, performance painter who does paintings with the culture, rhythm, and energy of the music that is played, painted several portraits of people including Mr. Farr and golf pro Paula Creamer.
Auctioneer Jerry Anderson of WTOL/WUPW sought bids for the portraits. New Toleodans Arnaud de Weert and Yolanda Jimenez won Mr. Farr's and Mel Bomprezzy won Ms. Creamer's.
Comedian Tom Dreesen, who performed with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Liza Minnelli, and others, had guests laughing as he told one liners about everyday life. "Don't go to your school reunion -- they have old people there that claim they were your classmates!"
Seen were Mayor Craig Stough of Sylvania and his wife, Barbara, Paul Jarrell of O-I and his wife, Mary Lynch Jarrell, who moved to Toledo a year ago, and Jeannie Hylant, of the Hylant Group. Bruce and Lisa Umbleby and Joy and Chuck Woodmancy were at the Kroger table and were missing Marcia Siemens, retired from Kroger, who played in past pro-ams and is battling cancer.
Sitting at the Farr table were friends Steve Konow of California, former Toledoans Sue and Larry Resnick, and former NBA player Todd Mitchell.
Mr. Farr attended the Brooks Insurance Health Care REIT Pro-Am at Inverness Club and The Image Group Celebrity Pro-Challenge at Highland Meadows Golf Club, and the Fathead Celebrity Pro-Am.
He also dined at the Beirut restaurant with LPGA family, including past and present board members and general chairmen. Owners Labib and Karen Hajjar provided the usual outstanding food and a belated birthday cake for Mr. Farr, who is 78 years old.
The Farrs lunched at Hollywood Casino Toledo, dined at Mancy's Blue Water Grille, and attended the Mud Hens game on Friday night where the Farr bobblehead was introduced.
Saturday morning was the scholarship winners' breakfast at The Hilton Toledo with Jamie Farr. Saturday night the Farrs planned to attend the Woodward High School reunion where Mr. Farr was to be honored and dine with a friend in Ottawa Hills. Tonight they plan to relax with friends after the tournament.
Whew, what a great week and reunion of friends at the Farr, so come on out today to see the final day of play. It's THE place to be seen!