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Herbert Heymann Football Classic

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Cajuns Begin Home Schedule With Herbert Heymann Football Classic

"It is only fitting that we begin our home football season in his memory,"
Nelson Schexnayder, Director of Athletics.

News Release For Inaugural Herbert Heymann Football Classic

July 17, 2001
Submitted by Chrisine Payton
Office of Public Relations and News Services


LAFAYETTE � Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns will begin their 94th season of intercollegiate football this fall by honoring one of the university's long-time supporters.
On Sept. 1, the Cajuns will take on Nicholls State in the inaugural Herbert Heymann Football Classic, a tribute to a man who was no stranger to UL Lafayette athletics.
"The university wanted to honor Herbert in some way for all the contributions he has made over the years," said UL Lafayette President Ray Authement. "We felt there was no better way to do that than in athletics. Herbert had an enormous passion for the Ragin' Cajuns and this football classic is just one way for us to remember this passion and pass it on to other generations."
Heymann, a Lafayette businessman and community pillar, died April 10, 2001. His dedication to the university can be seen throughout campus.
"Herbert Heymann and the Heymann name mean so much to the university and the Athletics Department, in particular," said Nelson Schexnayder, director of athletics. "This recognition is a small thank-you for the long-time support, dedication and love he had for us.
"Mr. Heymann approached the beginning of every fall season with enthusiasm for our teams," Schexnayder continued. "It is only fitting that we begin our home football season in his memory."
Heymann's contributions include sitting on the committee that created Cajun Field, home of Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns; and selling the Heymann Home on St. Mary Boulevard to the university, which is now known as the Alumni Center.
In addition, Heymann made many contributions to the Lafayette community. He facilitated the conversion of the Children's Museum in downtown from the place where he held his first job into a place for children to grow and learn. He also created the Heymann Center for Performing Arts and was instrumental in providing land for such prominent Lafayette projects as the University Art Museum, the Lafayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium and Lafayette General Medical Center, among others.
"Herbert was a rare person who graciously shared his many visions with his community," said Authement. "Without these dreams, Lafayette would not be the thriving business and cultural center it is today. So, on Sept. 1, we will remember Herbert's dreams and honor him in a way I know he would have loved."


Joan Bergmann, one of Heymann's daughter, was on hand for the recent announcement of the Herbert Heymann Football Classic. "This honor would have meant a great deal to him," she said. "It also means a great deal to our family."

Golf: Torch Passed for Herbert Heymann Memorial Tournament

Dan McDonald

November 9, 2004

The Herbert Heymann Memorial Tournament celebrated its 20th renewal Monday afternoon at Oakbourne, and it also celebrated a changing of the guard.

For two decades, the Heymann Tournament has been the major fund-raiser for the University of Louisiana golf program and has raised nearly a half-million dollars in those efforts. And it was a small group of former Ragin' Cajun golfers - Bob Rodgers, Buddy Short and Tommy Thomas, along with Cajun coach Bob Bass, that made the tournament a runaway success.

This year, that group passed the torch to a new tournament committee headed by another former Cajun player, Mike Spielmann, and including several other ex-players and team supporters.

"We had been concerned that we didn't have the next tier coming along," said Short. "We didn't have a lot of the younger guys involved. But we don't have that problem now. Mike and his group have got this thing going. This is just the start."

"Buddy, Bob and Tommy have done a tremendous job for a long time," said Bass. "This tournament wouldn't be where it is today without them. They've been great supporters for a long time."

So was the tournament's namesake. Heymann was host of the tournament from its inception to his death four years ago, and the event continues in his honor.

"Herbert loved Cajun golf," Spielmann said, "and his family has continued to support and love this program. Having his name on this event makes it special for a lot of people."

Thomas, Rodgers and Short are still involved, but they can also sit back and watch with pride as the tournament hits the new heights that it experienced Monday.

The 94-player field was the largest in tournament history, and Spielmann said that the event will likely add over $30,000 to the Cajun team coffers by the time all proceeds are accounted for.

"It'll be the biggest check we've ever written," said Spielmann who was a freshman on the UL team when the first Heymann Tournament was held. "We know that, just like all the UL sports, financing is critical. This is our 20th year, but the financial part is never-ending, and to have the success we had this year is nice to see."

But Spielmann also said that the tournament is important for a lot of other reasons besides the financial benefits.

"There are a lot of important people in the community that take part, and it's fun and it's important for the UL players to be able to interact with the people that make it happen," he said. "Some of the players here have gone on to play pro golf, and some have stayed here and started careers. When they meet people like they do here, it can only lead to a lifetime of benefits in their community."

It also helped for the Cajun players to interact with participants like PGA Tour pros Craig Perks and Mike Heinen, who greeted each team at the ninth hole Monday for photos and also hit a tee shot with every group in the scramble event.

The family team of Dennis, Denny, Michael, Matt and Petey Smith (Michael a member of the Cajun squad) didn't need their help on the ninth or any other hole, blazing to a 20-under-par 52 to nearly lap the field. The second- and third-place teams both shot 14-under 58, with the team of Larry Aillet, Richard Minvielle, Kent Pierret and B.C. Thibeaux finishing second and the squad of Ben Thibeaux, Jr., David Thibeaux, Frank Rogers and James Richard finishing third.

In case you're wondering, my team shot 62 and finished in the middle of the pack. But Chris Popp, Andre Broussard, Micah Vidrine and I were among the leaders in the fun column.

"The important thing is that people had fun," Bass said. "It was a great day, it was great to have alumni like Craig and Mike back taking part, and it was a great turnout to support Cajun golf."

Chip Shots

HEBERT BENEFIT: The friends and acquaintances came out in force Sunday for the Mickey Hebert Cancer Benefit, and by the time it was all over nearly $35,000 was raised to help the cancer fight off one of our area's golf institutions.

A total of 234 players took part in the scramble tournament at Hebert Municipal, and Mickey Hebert was there to greet them despite the ravages of an aggressive form of renal cancer. The tournament was put together by Hebert's friends and fellow members of the Acadiana Golf Society to defray some of the treatment and travel expenses incurred in Hebert's battle with the disease.

"Our goal was to raise $20,000 if we could," said Wayne Wills of the tournament organizing committee, "but when it's all added up we're going to do a lot better than that. The city helped with a good rate on the course, and we had $16,000 in cash donations alone over the six weeks that we've been working on this."

Hebert, the chairman of the AGS' Dr Pepper Junior Golf Classic since its founding 26 years ago and the point man on introducing the game to thousands of area youths, was able to greet people on the 18th green throughout the tournament thanks to the use of a recreational vehicle donated by a local dealership.

"He was just in tears most of the day," Wills said. "But he made all of us feel good. I think he made us feel better than we made him feel. The turnout was just fantastic. It's hard to describe ... it's another way to show that Acadiana's hearts are in the right place."

The group held a silent auction that included a flag from the recent Ryder Cup matches autographed by all the U.S. Cup players and captain Hal Sutton.

Many of the tournament winners, in a show of support for Hebert's battle, gave back their prize money to allow even more proceeds to go to the cause.

"You always hear some complaints at every tournament," Wills said, "but we didn't get a single one. The people were just great."

(Dan McDonald's local golf column appears each Tuesday. Clubs, courses and individuals wishing to submit items for inclusion may call (337) 289-6318, FAX to 289-6443, e-mail dmcdonald@theadvertiser.com or mail to 221 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501. Please include a return phone number.)

©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
November 9, 2004

Herbert Heymann Obituary

Herbert Heymann, distinguished philanthropist and civic leader, died Tuesday, April 10, 2001 in Lafayette following a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Janis T. Heymann, his daughters, Claire Heymann of Dallas, Lila Heymann of New York City and Joan Heymann Bergmann of Houston, cousins, several nieces and nephews, Dr. Phillip Wolf of Denver and Joanne Wolf Cohen of Cincinnati, as well as cherished lifelong friends and devoted employees.

Born in Lafayette on August 9, 1925, he was the son of legendary civic leader, Maurice Heymann and Germaine Rosenthal Heymann. Herbert graduated from Lafayette High School and SLI; attended Tulane University and the U.S. Naval Academy. He proudly served in the United States Navy during World War II. He is a Retired Lt. Commander and a recipient of three Commendation Awards. He was a pitcher for the United States Navy baseball team. He is a member of Temple Shalom.

A lifetime contributor to countless major civic projects in Lafayette, the City of Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have drawn upon his business skills.

Herbert Heymann's five decades of altruism, philanthropy and civic service have been recognized by numerous agencies and organizations.

Among the organizations who benefited from his patronage and personal involvement were: President of the Lafayette Rotary Club, Chairman of the Easter Seal Society, Chairman of the American Red Cross and Chairman of the United Givers Fund, Founder and Chairman of the Youth Football Program for over 25 years, coached in the American Legion Baseball Program. His honors include the Distinguished Service Award of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, the National Recreation Association Award, youngest man to ever receive the annual City Civic Cup Award. Herbert was elected to the University Chapter of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Tecumseh Club Award of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association.

Herbert was named as the Outstanding Alumnus to the University and Alumni Association, received the Silver Beaver Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America, served as Chairman of the Building Committee for Cajun Field at the University and also served as Task Force Chairman representing the Chamber of Commerce toward the acquisition of the Cajundome.

He served as honorary chairman of the American Cancer Society, served on the Board of Trustees of the UL Lafayette Foundation and was the sole lifetime sponsoring member of the Louisiana Classics sponsors for UL Lafayette. Herbert received the Volunteer Activist Award and received special recognition from the Catholic Bishops Charity Ball. He was the recipient of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of Acadiana Award and received the Roll On Award for recognition of his outstanding contribution of interest and service toward UL Lafayette Athletics as well as the Theodore G. Schad, Jr. Business Achievement Award.

Herbert was instrumental in the creation of the Municipal Auditorium and the Planetarium and both were built on land donated by the Heymann Family. He recently donated the Heymann Building downtown to the Natural History Museum.

He was preceded in death by his parents Maurice and Germaine Heymann and his sister, Jacqueline Cohn.

Pallbearers will be Bob Rodgers, Dr. Patrick Bergmann, Blake Heymann, Chris Verrett, Dr. Denbo Montgomery, Thad Montgomery, Dr. Phillip Wolf, and Dr. Sweeney Smith.

Honorary pallbearers will be Rodney Bernard, Herbert Abdalla, Dr. Edgar Breaux, Ronald Heymann, Dr. Douglas Chesson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Heymann Foundation, P. O. Box 51529, Lafayette, LA 70505, The Navy Marine Corp Relief Society, 801 N. Randolf St. Suite 1228, Arlington, VA 22203-1978 or Temple Shalom, P. O. Box 53711, Lafayette, LA 70505.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Delhomme Funeral Home.

Daily Advertiser, April 2001