Twinsburg -- The fourth-annual Leaders of Tomorrow Celebrity Golf Classic at Gleneagles Golf Club, hosted by retired NFL player and Aurora resident Dr. Jason Carthen, invited local celebrities to tee off, have some fun and raise money to benefit two scholarships for underprivileged high school seniors July 24.
"It's all about a legacy for me," Carthen said. "I want this to continue long after I am gone."
The Leaders of Tomorrow, a non-profit foundation, presents two $1,000, renewable 4-year scholarships to graduating seniors who demonstrate civic engagement and leadership each year.
This year's event raised approximately $10,000, according to Carthen.
"While we did not fully reach our financial goal of $20,000 it has strongly positioned us for the new school year and fostered vitally important community relationships as far away as Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati," Carthen said.
Carthen created Leaders of Tomorrow in 2008, beginning a multi-year study called The Influence Study to track the effects of mentoring and leadership training on program participants.
The foundation has issued 16 scholarships since its establishment and is the only hybrid leadership development and mentoring program available in Northeast Ohio.
"This is their opportunity to go to college," Carthen said.
Celebrities who took a swing to raise money for the scholarships included Bryan Wagner of the Cleveland Browns; Ryan Myers of the New York Jets; Vince Colbert of the Cleveland Indians; Ernie Kellerman of the Cleveland Browns; Melissa Myers of Fox 8 News; Rod Morris with the San Francisco 49ers; and radio personality Jimmy Malone.
"I've known Jason for a long time and I support him with what he is doing with these scholarships," Kellerman said.
According to Carthen, approximately 55 golfers took to the greens during the event. Previous Leaders of Tomorrow scholars were also in attendance interacting with celebrities and getting hands-on experience.
"I got to meet the students and talk to them about their lives," Malone said. "I had a good time."
"It's just a great cause and I'm in the business of helping kids out," Wagner said. "The course was good and it seemed like everyone's minds were on the kids."
Carthen said the goal was to raise $20,000 for the Leaders of Tomorrow Foundation's mentoring and scholarship programs for underprivileged youth. The event last year raised more than $6,000.
"It's a great event," Malone said. "Jason and his wife are passionate and dedicated to their mission. They actually care."
The golf outing was co-sponsored by Protem Healthcare and Chick-Fil-a.
"Everyone had a good attitude and they care about the children," Carthen said.