An amazing party last night kicked off the most important week of the year in Knoxville. So, you’re thinking it was celebrating the first full week of school? Or the start of high school football? Or something cultural like the symphony, opera or theater season? Nope. This is the week of the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot and the party at Chesapeake’s was a festive launch for it.
Just kidding about it being THE most important week. But it is pretty important. And with two major Moxley Carmichael clients, the News Sentinel and Summit Medical Group, involved in the party last night, I can assure you it was pretty important to us!
The gathering Sunday was the pairings party for the Summit Medical Group Pro-Am being held today at Fox Den Country Club as part of the lead-up to the professional golf tournament later this week. For those non-golfers (like me), the pairings party is where the amateur golfers find out which professional golfer they’ll be playing with today. My husband, Moxley Carmichael President Alan Carmichael, is playing in a foursome that includes Dr. Ketan Hira of Summit Medical Group; Alvin Nance, the CEO of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation; and U.S. Congressman John Duncan, Jr. Their pro, they found out last night, will be Adam Long when they tee off at 12:30 today. Of course, all this could have been handled by email, but what fun would that have been?
Here’s why this tournament, a part of what now is called the Web.com Tour, is a big deal. Knoxville was one of the original stops on the tour, then called the Ben Hogan Tour, when it started 23 years ago. Today, Knoxville is one of only four of the original stops that remain. The tour is important to professional golfers because it’s one of the ways they can earn points that will allow them to play on the “big” PGA tour. It’s important to Knoxville because it is a big economic driver and it carries a good amount of prestige.
About 35,000 fans are expected to show up at Fox Den Country Club over the course of the week to watch the 156 professional golfers. About 260 volunteers will be working the event which has a $500,000 prize purse, with $90,000 going to the first place winner. Additionally, the two Pro-Ams today and Wednesday will raise money for charity. Last year that amount was $81,000. More is expected this year. Today’s Summit Medical Group Pro-Am will benefit East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Summit CEO Tim Young told the gathering last night that Children’s Hospital is the reason Summit is sponsoring today’s event. “Children’s Hospital is a treasure in our community,” Young said. “We are proud to support it.”
There is some star power involved, as well. Two participating pro golfers who have won “majors” are Lee Janzen and John Daly. Daly’s pal, singer-songwriter Johnny Lee, is in town, too, and if last year is any indication, the two of them will make some music tonight at yet another party connected with the tournament. (Lee is best known for the hit song from the movie Urban Cowboy: Lookin’ for Love (in All the Wrong Places).
Well, here’s a look at that fab party last night. If you are a member of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, note that the popular Business After Hours gathering will be this Thursday at the tournament. Tickets to the tournament are a deal, as well. It costs just $10 for a daily ticket and $25 for a four-day pass. Click here to go to the tournament website where tickets are available.
Great party–and on a Sunday night! Is Sunday the new Saturday? Great to see so many fun people show up for such a good cause. This event raises an impressive amount of money. Chesapeake’s did a fabulous job with food & drinks–and the trio performed just the right music to eat oysters by.
You are so right about the food — if it tasted as good as it looks, it was fabulous! I want that whole table full of crab claws!