True to its Delta roots, the sixth annual Delta Soul Celebrity Golf and Charity Event promises to be filled with the southern hospitality and laidback good times that has become the signature of this epic fundraising event for the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation (SASCF). This year’s event is being held on June 8–10 in Greenville, Mississippi.
“We are thrilled about this year’s event,” commented Gwen Azar, the SASCF’s co-founder with her husband, Steve. “It is exciting to realize last year we had participants from 20 states travel to our community to take part in our Delta Soul event and we know this year will be even bigger! We are encouraged with so many of our celebrities committing very early this year to come back in 2017!” Celebrities scheduled to attend this year’s tournament include: Actor Frankie Muniz from multiple Emmy winning sitcom, Malcom in the Middle; Super Bowl winning quarterback, Jim McMahon; NHL Five-Time Stanley Cup winner and recently voted one of the NHL’s Top 100 Hockey Players in history, Grant Fuhr; Actor Richard Burgi of General Hospital, The Sentinel and Desperate Housewives; MLB great Reggie Smith; Former supermodel Kim Alexis; Dez Dickerson, original guitarist with Prince and the Revolution; Actor Chris Mulkey from the films Whiplash and First Blood, Actor comedian Gary Valentine of the new CBS hit television show, Kevin Can Wait, TV series, Fargo and King of Queens and the Paul Blart: Mall Cop Movies; and many more!
Recently appointed by Governor Bryant as the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi, Steve Azar’s desire to show off the Delta’s best attributes to the brightest stars throughout the country started years ago when he returned to his home community in 2011. “There is nothing like bringing our celebrity friends and sponsors together from all over the nation and showing them what Greenville and the Delta is really all about — great food and drink, incredible music and of course, our people coming together to raise money to invest back into this community we all call ‘home’,” said Steve Azar, who brainstormed this event with wife Gwen and co-chairs, Beth Mansour and Esther Virden, as a way to “give back” to his hometown. More than $600,000 has been given to support the arts, children and education in the Delta and beyond since the Foundation’s inception. Some of the organizations who have previously benefitted from the Foundation’s generosity include the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, Camp Looking Glass, Delta Center Stage, Delta Children’s Museum, Delta 180, Delta Music Institute and Delta State University, Education Foundation of Greenville, Grammy Museum, Mississippi, Greenville Arts Council, Greenville Harmony Chorus, Greenville Renaissance Scholars, St. Joseph Catholic School Art and Music Programs, and Washington School Art and Music Programs.
The Schedule of Events includes a private celebrity dinner at the world-famous Doe’s Eat Place to kick-off the event in style on Thursday, June 8. Following an incredible meal, the party will continue at the Walnut Street Blues Bar for a true juke joint experience. The Celebrity Cup kicks off on Friday, June 9 followed by the Big Night Dinner and Live Auction Party. Entertainment at the Big Night Party will be epic this year with a special performance by Steve Azar & The Kings Men, whose debut album, “Down At The Liquor Store” is set to be released July 28th with a feature film documentary to follow. In addition, exciting celebrity guest performances will be on tap for the evening. The Live Auction will be a “must attend” for anyone looking for that special one-of-a-kind item ranging from fabulous vacation packages to unique sporting event packages; there is sure to be something to spark the interest of everyone who attends these Friday evening festivities! The Delta Soul tournament, itself, will start at the Greenville Golf and Country Club on Saturday morning followed by a Delta inspired Catfish Fry. Saturday night will conclude with the Steve Azar and Friends Concert Jam to be held at the Harlow’s Casino Resort and Spa.
“We are so grateful to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi, The Skin Institute and the Hartness Foundation who have agreed to be our 2017 Presenting Sponsors once again this year, and we are so excited to welcome Integrated Properties, Inc. as a new Presenting Sponsor this year,” comments Azar. “And a special thanks to James Ceranti Motors for being our Transportation Sponsor again for this upcoming year. A huge thank you also goes out to our amazing committee of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure our event is organized to perfection and exceeds every expectation for a first-class event each and every year! Without the incredible support of these businesses and organizations along with countless others, the Delta Soul would not have grown as a fundraising event allowing us, through SASCF, to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars back into our community in such a short period of time,” Azar adds.
For the second year in a row, baseball great, Reggie Smith will host a Baseball Clinic here in Greenville for youth ages 9 and above. The Baseball Clinic will take place from 8 am–12 pm on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at Legion Field at the Delta Sportsplex, located at 1040 South Raceway Road in Greenville. Smith will be teaching not only the basics of baseball, including fielding, throwing and hitting, but the basics of life helping to mold our community’s youth into future athletes. Registration will begin at 7:30 am at the Delta Sportsplex. The cost is $10 per athlete and all proceeds will benefit the Delta Sportplex.
“When we received notification that Reggie was going to be with us again this year for our Delta Soul event, we immediately reached out to him about offering an event like this to the youth of our community for the second year in a row,” states Azar. “Physical fitness and healthy eating has always been important to me,” continues Steve. “So, this is the perfect opportunity to have Reggie here to help inspire and teach our community’s youth about healthy living as well as to encourage the next professional baseball player!”
In addition to being one of the 2017 Presenting Sponsors, this year’s Baseball Clinic is also powered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi. According to Bryan Lagg, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Sales at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi, “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi is proud to be partnering with the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation and Delta Soul Celebrity Golf and Charity event for the 6th year. This event not only invests by giving back to children, programs and communities in the Delta, but it aligns with our Company’s vision of educating and supporting Mississippians along their journey to a healthier lifestyle through physical and nutritional well-being. We also know that children that are active in sports, music, the arts and other extra-curricular activities perform better in school, and that’s another reason we are excited to be a part of the Delta Soul’s Children’s Baseball Clinic, hosted by Major League baseball star, Reggie Smith.”