The 1757 Golf Club held the 8th Annual Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament with teams consisting of cornerback Fred Smoot vs. wide receiver Plaxico ‘Plax’ Burress in Dulles, VA in honor of Creative Concepts and Advancements (CCAA) events founder Clarence Wright, who suddenly passed away. Although Wright couldn’t physically be there, his presence still lives on within each and everyone who played a part in putting this event together.
“Clarence was about as rare as they came. Clarence was all about bringing people together. Rain, sleet, or shine, here we are. We just want to carry the torch and put on something he would be proud of in his honor,” said Super Bowl Champion Kyle Arrington.
Wright always wanted to be great and see people do great within themselves. Greatness and happiness are some of the things he brought to the table when coming in contact with others, which is a recipe for success.
“Everything. All of us have kind of been hands on deck. That was obviously a tragic and unfortunate event that set us back quite a bit. Clarence was a phenomenal person, but also the leader of our group so we all had to step up and do many different things just to pull this off,” said Joe Dunn, Senior Vice President at George Mason Mortgage and team Fred.
Instead of postponing the event, as Wright wouldn’t have wanted it that way, team members including; Arrington, Smoot, Dunn, Carmen Felder, Sharon Presley, Aleasha Arthur, Divya Gupta, and Chad Ridges joined together and put on a successful event where 32 former pro football champions including legendary Doc Walker attended. Charity mixed with emotions has united this team together to put on an event that supports not only the children in this country but the United States of America.
“At the end of the day, we are out here for the veterans. I believe to take care of the people who take care of us and at the end of the day they get left behind so many times and I just find that unbelievable. We are out here for my guy Clarence Wright who was the head of our golf tournament who actually passed, we are doing it in his honor today,” said Smoot.
The event is in support of two organizations; 1) The E.V.O.L.V.E Foundation, founded by Kyle and VaShonda Arrington, who as parents want to leave this world in a better place than they found it. They want to create an environment, experiences, and opportunities of excellence to help underserved communities. 2) Military families. All proceeds will be split between the two organizations.
With days at a time practicing and spending it away from their families, these former pro athletes can now spend their retirement living after years of hard work. They have followed their passions, became authors, and continue to give back to the community.
“I’m here today to be involved with E.V.O.L.V.E. I try to get involved with everybody else’s foundation that is aligned with where I’m at in my life,” said former cornerback Leigh Bodden.
Bodden tries to be involved with charities that are dear to his heart, such as, kids and mental health and wellness. He’s enjoying life in service.
“I live for a living. I worked extremely hard for a long time and I just want to enjoy it with my family and my friends and enjoy life because we’re here for Clarence. Time waits for no man and you never know when that clock is going to run out. I just try to enjoy every moment I have left on this earth the way I can,” said Bodden.
Outside linebacker, Ken Harvey, continued his love for writing. He published his recent children’s book, ‘The Me That Needs To Be’, to help children develop spending, giving, and saving habits.
“You want to plant seeds for kids when they’re young so they won’t have to go through the same things you go through. So the me that needs to be is about financial literacy. I think, us, in the black community have gotten a little better, but you can say
at least you know better and you should do this and that but if you never known or if no one ever taught you that, if no one ever planted a seed ion your life or understand your situation then you grow up with the same issues you had as a kid. This book is kind of the beginning of natural literacy,” said Harvey.
Harvey has his own non-profit foundation, Touching Heart. They work with young people to build strong leadership skills. He’s open to working with other non-profits because they are heading towards the same goal which is to develop the young community.
“It’s not a competition. We’re all under the same goal,” said Harvey, whose team, Fred.
Being in the league you learn teamwork and mentorship, but one thing you find in developing relationships is people come from all walks of life. Doc Walker, former Super Bowl Champion and radio sports commentator, comes from a military background (his father). Born in Camp Lejeune North Carolina, he lived on base for 9-10 years of his life. Military to him is seeing his father away while his mother keeps everything together at home.
“Whenever I have an opportunity to come out and do this, the hardest thing I do today is be interviewed. Are you kidding me? There are people who gone out and drop out of airplanes in jungles so this is what I do I’ve been doing it and been here over 40 years and I like to think the charities I’ve been associated with, I learn something and we helped. This is what I do because it was done for me,” said Walker.
Walker has been involved with other charities such as; Arthritis Foundation, The National Kidney Foundation, Leukemia Lymphoma, American Cancer, and more. He has participated in 12 golf tournaments to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation and 15 years with The National Kidney Foundation.
“For me, it’s not only the ones I’ve been involved in, but I go to all my brother’s tournaments; Brian Mitchell, Fred Smooth. Every guy in here; Ryan Kerrigan, Robert ‘Bobby’ Mitchell, who is the godfather of all of this, and Brig Owens, they taught me,” said Walker. One of the things that keep Walker excited is to see the next group of professional American football players go to events hosted by the ones before them and eventually create a charity of their own. Take Chris Baker, for example, he created his own charity called the Chris Baker Foundation that focuses on childhood literacy and financial literacy.
“It’s how to manage your money and being financially smart. Making the right decisions. A lot of people don’t understand just the clear basis of having a checking account and savings account. Just being able to manage your money,” said Baker.
He has a free football camp back in his hometown of Connecticut. He is hoping to bring those same free camps back to the D.C. area. “Anytime my teammates ask me to come out, I come out to show my support,” said Baker, whose team Fred and Plax.
At the end of the tournament, Team Plax took home the win, 53-52.
This event was made possible by the following sponsors:
- Koons Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Tysons Corner: https://www.koonsjeep.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=googlemybusiness&utm_content=sales,
- Ted Britt with Ford: https://www.tedbrittfairfax.com
- American Fitness: https://american.fitness/pages/american-fitness-tv
- George Mason Mortgage: https://www.gmmllc.com
- American National: https://www.americannational.com/wps/portal/
- Coca-Cola: https://www.cokeconsolidated.com
- Lost Rhino: https://www.lostrhino.com
- Smoking Mirrors Cigars: https://www.facebook.com/groups/695746591034166