Tamme's Swings for Our Soldiers golf tournament another big hit
Indianapolis Colts tight end Jacob Tamme, right, was pleased with how his Swings for Our Solders golf outing went Monday. The event, fundraising event for Homes for Our Troops organized by Tamme and his wife, Allison, was held at Keene Run Golf Club in Nicholasville. (AP Photo)
Everything from the weather to the golfers to the sponsors to the celebrity players to the Keene Run Golf Club was near perfect for Swings for Our Soldiers, a fundraising event for Homes for Our Troops organized by Tamme and his wife, Allison.
“Luckily we have a lot of people who put in a lot of time and effort into making this happen.¿It is a good deal of work but it is all worth it to raise money for this organization. Big thanks to all these people who put these auction items together and donated them,” said Tamme, who hopes his fourth year with the Indianapolis Colts starts this week with the anticipated end of the NFL lockout near.
“It’s rewarding to see everybody have a fun day and care so much about what they are playing for. When you drive around with (wounded veteran) Chase (Matthews) and (Homes for our Troops founder/president) John (Gonsalves) and hear what people say to them and what it means to support them, it is pretty cool.”
Homes for Our Troops builds new homes for wounded military personnel when they return home with life-changing injuries.
Tamme’s second tournament was such a success that he expected a two-year fundraising total that would well exceed $100,000 when proceeds from entry fees, sponsorships and auction items were combined.
He had a slew of celebrities, including Indianapolis teammates Austin Collie and Curtis Painter. Current UK¿football coaches Steve Brown and Randy Sanders played as did UK¿athletics director Mitch Barnhart. Former UK¿standouts Wesley Woodyard and Corey Peters, both active NFL players, participated. So did former players like Tim Couch, Taylor Begley, Lester Boyd, Matt Leyow and Bill Ransdell. Kentucky basketball was represented by Mike Pratt, Louie Dampier, Kyle Macy and Walter McCarty. Media members included Tom Leach, Amber Philpot, Mary Jo Perino, Dick Gabriel and Dave Baker.
Tamme’s high school teammates at Boyle County — Bobby Leffew and Taylor Begley — both were celebrity players.
“I am here for the cause. I am not an avid golfer, but it is always a great opportunity for me to get around some of the old guys and meet some of the new people in the community and we all have one common goal — we care about the program.¿I care about football. I am just real thankful for Jacob to let me be part of such a worthy cause like this,” Boyd said.
“This is my first golf outing of the year, but it is for such a great cause,”¿Macy said.
“I’m not a golfer, but how could you not help Tamme?” said Peters, who plays for Atlanta.
Tamme even managed to get Randall Cobb, a recent second-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers, to join the golf.
“Guys like Wesley, Randall and Corey were so gracious. So many more came out to support our cause,” Tamme said. “Austin and Curtis coming from Indy is so special. They are all great guys willing to give their time.
“We also finally caught coach Sanders with a little bit of down time. He is fun to play with, and he play a little bit, too. He’s pretty good. So is coach Brown.”
Tamme also credited his wife and Jamie Legate, his tournament director, for handling countless details. He knew it was especially hectic for his wife since she gave birth to their first child, Luke, who came to the tournament wearing his Homes for Our Troops shirt provided especially for him.
“Allison is awesome. This would not happen without her and Jamie,” Tamme said. “With Luke this year, it has been a busy year for her. We all try to help each other out, but we also got so much help from all sorts of connections and people that have worked hard to make it happen. We have a debt of gratitude for a lot of people, including Keene Run.”
Cobb said those playing felt the same type of gratitude for what Tamme and wife were doing for such a worthwhile cause.
“Jacob asked me a while ago about playing, but I was not sure if I would be here or not,” Cobb, who confirmed Sunday night that he could play, said. “When I¿found out that I would be here, I wanted to be a part of it to show my support for what he is doing and be part of his new tradition. They don’t come any better than Jacob Tamme.”