Brian McNerney and Gary Howarth on Fox NFL Sunday set last November.
If there is any question of the stature of the Sowing Seeds for Life Celebrity Golf Tournament for Charity, consider this: Vin Scully lent a helping hand. When it comes to sports celebrities in Southern California, they don’t get any bigger than Scully.
Six nights after getting a five-minute standing ovation from a sold-out crowd at Dodger Stadium, the legendary Dodger announcer welcomed a group of four people into his broadcast booth for a brief meet and greet and photo session.
It was Vin Scully Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium on July 25 when the fans, all standing and facing the broadcast booth, cheered wildly for what seemed like forever.
The meet and greet took place prior to a Dodger game against the New York Yankees on July 31.
The four people were Brian McNerney, the CEO of the La Verne Chamber of Commerce, his 35-year-old daughter Lee Ann Sheridan of Orange, and Don Dirian and his girlfriend Maryann Alvarez of San Dimas.
These four people got this extremely rare opportunity because McNerney and Dirian were the winning bidders of an auction package at the fourth annual Sowing Seeds for Life Celebrity Golf Tournament for Charity, held last October at Glendora Country Club.
The package included four front-row seats to the game, plus the visit to Scully’s booth, where McNerney had Scully autograph three items, including a 1951 Brooklyn Dodger program. Scully signed on the page that had a photo of him and his mentor, announcer Red Barber.
The group also got a photo with Jaime Jarrin, who, like Scully, is a Hall of Fame announcer. Jarrin is the Dodgers’ longtime Spanish-language announcer.
The night also included a photo with former Dodger shortstop and manager Bill Russell, plus chatting with announcers Rick Monday and Charley Steiner during their visit to the Dodger Stadium press box.
All this for a $3,000 bid at last year’s Sowing Seeds tournament.
“It was the thrill of a lifetime,” McNerney said.
He also experienced a thrill last football season.
McNerney and another friend, Gary Howarth, had the winning bid on another exclusive package – a visit to the Fox studio where that network’s NFL pregame show is done. There, they met the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan and got to hang with them in the luxurious “Avacado Room” (commonly called the Green Room) instead of green room) throughout the day. The room has a wall of TV monitors carrying all the games taking place at the time.
The visit to Scully’s booth and the Fox NFL set will again be auctioned off at this year’s tournament Oct. 7 at Glendora Country Club, an event shouldn’t be missed. Among the many celebrity guests will be Dodger legends Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, who will either be at the tournament to sign autographs and pose for photos prior to play or participate in an evening panel. It all depends on the status of the Dodgers playoff schedule.
At last year’s tournament, where Bob Miller, the Kings’ Hall of Fame announcer, was a featured guest, Dirian offered to donate $3,000 for the shirt off Miller’s back. It was a Stanley Cup champion shirt.
Miller and Dirian exchanged shirts right there in front everyone as deafening laughter erupted.
The night also included a one-hour show by internationally known entertainer and sportscaster Roy Firestone.
In past years, the tournament has drawn such celebrities as Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Bill Sharman, James Worthy, Jim Harrick, Trevor Denman, UCLA announcer Chris Roberts, a Glendora resident, his broadcast partner Matt Stevens, former Dodgers Bill Russell, Al Downing and Tommy Davis and many more.
This year’s tournament is set for Oct. 7 at Glendora Country Club, Besides featured guests Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, other celebrities scheduled to take part include Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay.
The celebrity guests and unique auction items once again make this an event that shouldn’t be missed.