The 35th Anniversary Chili’s MACC Open continues a proud tradition

The MACC Fund’s 35th Anniversary celebration continues with the Chili’s MACC Open on June 6. The MACC Fund is pleased to join forces for the third consecutive year with ERJ Dining, the Wisconsin franchisee for Chili’s restaurants for the Chili’s MACC Open. The 35th Anniversary MACC Fund Open – the Chili’s MACC Open – will be played at Tuckaway Country Club in Franklin. The first major MACC Fund event, the MACC Fund Open, was held on May 31, 1977 at Tripoli Country Club raising $11,000. Since then, it has become one of the MACC Fund’s signature events.

Then, as now, foursomes of golfers paired with celebrities from the world of sports, entertainment and broadcasting play a Shotgun Scramble format with the focus on winning for the kids helped by the MACC Fund. Robin Yount was a young Milwaukee Brewer when the group he “Captained” won the inaugural event 35 years ago. Joining Robin in that Championship group were Mario Bonofiglio, Tom Ladky, Dom Tirabassi and Kelli Covelli.

Robin continued his support of the MACC Fund throughout his Hall of Fame career. In 1982, he won the League’s MVP title and also the “Seagram’s 7-Crown” MVP Award. He signed that $10,000 check over to the MACC Fund making it the largest amount given to the young organization by a professional athlete. Robin and his wife Michelle and their children became popular “celebrity” models in the annual Women for MACC Children’s Fashion Shows when that great organization was getting its start during the heyday of the Milwaukee Brewers. Robin continues to help the MACC Fund with generous donations of autographed memorabilia and by helping to promote annual events such as The HOG’S “Bob and Brian Radiothon” each April and the TODAY’S TMJ 4 Sports Auction 4 MACC each December. In addition, the MACC Fund benefits from the proceeds of the sale of “Robinade,” the Hall of Famers popular lemonade available at grocery stores throughout the state.

Thirty-five years later, the Chili’s MACC Open signals the start of a summer full of golfing fun as the “MACC Fund Golf Tour” gets into full swing. Last years Tour featured 20 different events and raised over $500,000. The 35th Anniversary Tour started on April 29 with the annual Lake Country Charity Invitational which featured many of the area’s top high school teams in the Invitational hosted by 5-time defending champion Hartland Arrowhead at Western Lakes in Pewaukee. It raised over $44,000 for the MACC Fund. Two weeks later, an outing in memory of Ryan Luxem, the 11-year-old who died at the end of 2010, raised $15,000 for the MACC Fund at Browns Lake Golf Course.

Junior Bridgeman owns ERJ Dining, the sponsor of the Chili’s MACC Open. Like Robin, Junior has helped the MACC Fund since its inception. He was a teammate of Jon McGlocklin’s on the Milwaukee Bucks and was playing for the Bucks in the game when the MACC Fund began at halftime on Dec. 10, 1976 in the Milwaukee Arena. A longtime member of the MACC Fund’s Honorary Athletic Board, Junior is also member of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame along with Jon. It is fitting that they have come together once again to help kids.

Junior and Jon will join with fellow Chili’s MACC Open Co-Chair Paul Knoebel, who is also Vice Chair of the MACC Fund’s Board of Directors, in welcoming a full field of thirty fivesomes to Tuckaway Country Club’s verdant fairways.

Robin Yount’s schedule will not allow him to play this year but we know he will be with the MACC Fund in spirit like he always has been. Over 30 celebrity golfers from the world of sports and media will join each foursome just like they did 35 years ago. MACC Fund Co-Founders Jon McGlocklin and Eddie Doucette will welcome all of the golfers once again as well. Brewers legends Sal Bando and Ken Sanders will tee it up along with the longest tenured major league baseball umpire, Bruce Froemming, who retired several years after 50 years behind the plate. Milwaukee Bucks assistant coaches Jim Boylan, Kelvin Sampson and Joe Wolf will be on hand along with Bucks legend Sam Williams whose post NBA days have been spent helping the city’s youth at the Milwaukee Boys and Girls Clubs. Dan Smyczek the Bucks PR Director will be part of the Bucks contingent along with trainers Marc Boff and Scott Barthlama. They will join the MACC Fund standard bearer at the Bucks, its Vice President and charter MACC Fund board member John Steinmiller. John will be a Chili’s MACC Open foursome leader just like he continues to be a leader as a valuable member of the MACC Fund’s Board of Directors since the inception of the MACC Fund. Marquette alum and former Buck Tony Smith works Bucks telecasts on FoxSports Wisconsin. He will join the voice of the Bucks, Jim Paschke, who might be called into action if an ailing back cooperates. Olympic Gold Medalist Bonnie Blair will trade her ice skates for golf spikes adding a world class flair to the event. The coaches of the Milwaukee Wave and the Milwaukee Admirals, Keith Tozer and Lane Lambert, will try to lead their group’s to victory like they led their teams to impressive wins all year. The Admiral’s iconic legend Phil Wittliff will be making a rare golfing appearance as well along with the Admirals President, Jon Greenberg. Marquette University’s fine Soccer Associate Head Coach Stan Anderson will be there like he is every year to help the kids. UW Milwaukee’s fine basketball coaches Sandy Botham and Rob Jeter will be on hand along with the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Famer Jack Bennett who guided UW Stevens Point to multiple NCAA Division III national championships. Mike Davis, the sports editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will be making his first appearance since taking over the paper’s top sports spot. An impressive array of radio and television personalities including Wayne Larrivee, the voice of the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers, round out the celebrity laden field.

The 35th Anniversary Chili’s MACC Open promises to be another great day in the proud history of the MACC Fund. The goal will be the same as that first outing held at Tripoli in 1977, to provide “a good time for a good cause” while raising life changing funds for pediatric cancer research. Thanks to everyone who will play this year and to all who have golfed to help the kids over the past 35 years in the MACC Fund Open as well as the hundreds of events which make up the “MACC Fund Golf Tour.”

John Cary, Executive Director


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