OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -It was a beautiful day at Golden Ocala Golf Club on Monday for the Fourth Annual McKenzie’s Moment Golf Tournament. A star-studded lineup took their best shot at one of North Central Florida’s premier venues, and all for a cause.
The event honors McKenzie Gray, the daughter of Golden Ocala Director of Golf Ryan Gray and and his wife Kait. In 2018, McKenzie was born at 28 weeks due to placental abruption and passed away three days later.
This year’s edition of the McKenzie’s Moment is raising $350,000 that benefit a number of North Central Florida charities and foundations.
The event drew 38 sports celebrities, including Baseball Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera and Ken Griffey Junior, and former NFL players Kordell Stewart and Otis Anderson. The former athletes agree that there is life beyond sports and were happy to help donate their time in the name of charity.
“It’s a first class event, a great cause, and you come out here and support the women and children,” said three-time World Series champion Jim Leyritz. “I said absolutely. It’s great way to turn something that was very painful into something positive.”
“I have two young ones myself,” said former NFL quarterback Brandon Weeden. “I couldn’t say no, so I came a few years ago and it’s my third year. I told them I’ll be here every year they’ll keep having me back.”
For the athletes on hand, tournaments like these are a fun way to share stories from their competitive years, and an opportunity to get to learn about some other sports.
“I grew up with rugby and cricket and not the NFL and stuff but I’m getting into it big time living in the states,” said pro golfer Louis Oosthuizen, who recently moved to Ocala. “It’s nice seeing everyone give their time to do this charity.”
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