01 Sep

Recap: Celebrity Golf & Women’s Tennis Tournament


The Special Kids Network held its 12th Annual Golf and Tennis Tournament on Monday, July 25, 2011. The tournament took place on a beautiful summer day at the spectacular Twin Orchard Country Club, Long Grove, Illinois. The evening before the event celebrities, many sponsors and board members were guests of Gibson’s Steakhouse of Chicago. Guests at the dinner were entertained by the magic of Dan Brander (The Amazing Brando). In addition, Ryan Baker (CBS Sports Anchor), Sarah Kustok (Comcast Sports Net) and Chris Williams (Curb Your Enthusiasm) also attended the kick-off party.

The event was sold out with 47 foursomes with each group having a fifth golfer (who was a media or sports celebrity) and a full complement of women tennis players. The honorary chair persons of the golf event were Tom Shaer (Shaer Media) and Jeremy Roenick (Chicago Blackhawk Legend). The honorary chairperson of the women’s event was Kathy Hart (101.9 FM The Mix). The tournament was sponsored by The Morris Silverman Family Foundation and the Taxman Foundation; co-chairs included Garry Benjoya (Lincolnshire); Trevor Brody (Chicago); Chad & Debbie Coe (Deerfield); Michael Cohen (Northbrook); Steve Hara (Highland Park); Jodi Hansen (Vernon Hills); Bari Levin (Buffalo Grove); Michael Rosen (Northbrook); Scott Rudin (Deerfield); Greg Solk (Highland Park); and Kim Ward (Chicago).

The event was fun filled with attendees treated to many games and attractions throughout the golf course, for example; Segway Rides, Dunk Tank, Fastest Hole, and Hole In One sponsored by Arlington Lexus. Giveaways were abundant with each golfer receiving a High Sierra Air Plane travel luggage; Paper Jamz Drums donated by Sky Blue Pink Concepts and Beach Bags donated by the Law Firm of Miroballi Durkin & Rudin, LLC. At the barbeque lunch grill, ESPN AM 1000 broadcasted the Waddle and Silvy Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Waddle and Silvy interviewed, SKN guests, Jeremy Roenick, Gar Foreman (Chicago Bulls, General Manager) and Jim Hendry (Former, Chicago Cubs General Manager).

The dinner program included approximately 350 patrons who watched a video produced by Keepsake Family Tree Video. The video gave the history behind Special Kids Network and depicted the charities that receive the proceeds from the groups fundraising efforts. Special Kids Network is an independent non-profit organization that was created to provide funding for programs that help children and young adults with special needs. Our mission is to create community awareness and raise funds in support of organizations who believe that every child and young adult, regardless of the nature of their background or disability, should be able to enjoy life to its fullest and to participate in the mainstream of their community.

The live auction included a trip to the Double Eagle Club at the Master’s donated by Intersports, New York Yankee Bat Boy Experience (Donated by Joe Girardi), Lexus Champion for Charity at the Links of Pebble Beach (Donated by Arlington Lexus) and US Open Tickets for the Mens Semi Finals and Women’s Finals (Donated by Alan Schwartz/Midtown). The event concluded with a performance by artist, Elliott Fromm of Artbeat Live who painted an unbelievable Blackhawk Logo. In attendance were many current and former members of the Blackhawk Organization (Denis Savard, Stan Bowman, Pat Foley, Phil Russell and Michael Goulet and many more) who autographed the painting for the winning bidder Jim & Barbara Stewart (Ft. Myers, FL).

Approximately $125,000 was netted from the event which benefited Keshet Recreational Programs, Equestrian Connection, Pediatric Gastro Intestinal Research Foundation at the University of Chicago, National Stuttering Association and Foundation for Retinal Research.

Special Kids Network’s next event is a Texas Hold’em Tournament on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at Fields BMW. Proceeds from the event will benefit Keshet, The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired and Rainbows.