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Friends get together to give back

Charity golf event deemed a big success

They had to brave inclement weather and a longer-than-expected day on the golf course Monday. But that’s what friends do.

The friends came out for the fun of it Monday at Le Triomphe, but many of the area’s best-known athletic figures also helped Brian Mitchell and Donnie Wallace raise funds for Stuller Place.

A dozen celebrity captains headed up scramble teams in Mitchell and Wallace’s sixth annual "Giving Back" charity golf classic, one held Monday while the teams dodged in and out of the thunderstorms.

"We had some players that didn’t get here and that was probably the weather," Wallace said, "but both Sunday night and today were still great events. Having a group like this come together to play golf for a great cause in this community is awesome."

The athletic group taking part in Monday’s tournament included Eric Martin, Johnny Hector, Dalton Hilliard, Kevin Faulk, Trev Faulk, Siran Stacy, Reggie Branch and Joe Ward, along with UL football coach Rickey Bustle and basketball coach Robert Lee and former Ragin’ Cajun athletic standouts Harold Porter and Sidney Grider.

Several members of that group also participated in a kickoff party/fund raiser Sunday. All proceeds from both events benefit the Stuller Place center to help children and families in crisis.

"A lot of these guys gave up their time to come out," said Mitchell, who was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches Saturday. "It’s rare that we can get some of these guys together, so that makes it a lot of fun."

"It’s a special time for Brian and I since it’s one of maybe two or three times a year we can actually get together with friends," Wallace said.

Wallace is plenty busy as director of PGA Tour Field Operations, and Mitchell has a three-hour daily radio show and a one-hour daily television appearance in the Washington, D.C., area. Those duties cut into friend time – and golf time, although Mitchell and Wallace have been playing enough to lead the winning team at last Friday’s Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame celebrity tournament.

"This used to be something we just did to see these guys," Wallace said. "That’s still a lot of it, but now we have a charity that needs our help and these guys are always willing to help."

P.C. Piazza/ppiazza@theadvertiser.com

UL basketball coach Robert Lee watches as his ball goes for the green during afternoon play Monday at the Brian Mitchell and Donnie Wallace golf outing at Le Triomphe.