Insights and Observations
Monday, June 5, 2006
By Henry Hinton
Drew-Skip event a phenomenon
in the making
LIVE THIS A.M.
in on the radio or catch the live Internet feed
of today's Talk of the Town with
SELECT LIVE STREAM
Drew Steele-Skip Holtz Golf Classic is
on! The huge two-day event kicked off last night on campus at East Carolina
with a dinner auction the likes of which have not been seen since the
Michael Jordan Tournament left Greenville.
Over 700 people jammed
the floor of Williams Arena inside Minges Coliseum for a three-hour evening
that started with food and drink from some of the area’s finest restaurants
along with a silent auction that drew a massive response from the huge
Among the silent auction
items that brought the big dollars were autographed footballs from former
NFL great Jim Brown, the entire Carolina Panthers team and former ECU star
David Garrard, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Those were scattered among
approximately 100 items that brought huge dollars for the tournament’s
benefactor, Pitt County Special Populations.
The tournament is the
brainchild of ECU head football coach Skip Holtz and former ECU basketball
coach Mike Steele, the father of Drew.
Dollars raised during the
event will stay in Pitt County to fund programs for special needs children
and citizens. A percentage of the money will go into an endowment account
that will eventually be used to build a facility in Greenville for special
needs children. Holtz has vowed that the facility will bear Drew Steele’s
Drew and Holtz
have become buddies
since the coach put him to work in the football equipment room. The coach
has since told the story of how uplifting and helpful Drew was last season
in turning around the attitude of a team that had won just three games in
The entire community has
seemed to buy into the idea that Holtz has presented. In addition to the
silent auction, there was a live auction conducted that netted over $70,000.
People bid on and purchased airplane trips to upcoming ECU away games, game
day experiences on campus in football, basketball and baseball, fishing
trips with Holtz, girls-night-out dinners with Jennifer Holtz and other
One item that drew a lot
of attention was a pair of autographed boxing gloves from Muhammad Ali.
Former ECU football player John Hallow wowed the crowd with his impression
of the great boxer and then bought the gloves himself for $7,500.
The first leg of the
tournament was a huge success. Now comes the golf, which will be played on
two courses in Greenville today. The event was originally scheduled for
Ironwood Country Club in Greenville, but the huge rush of willing
participants dictated that the event be held on two separate courses.
Greenville Country Club will host the other group.
PGA touring professional
Will McKenzie and former PGA player Doug Martin, a close friend of Coach
Holtz, will conduct clinics on both courses during the day.
A total of 66 teams will
play in the event. 18 corporate gold sponsors also have contributed to the
Asked late Sunday evening
exactly how much total money has been raised in the first year of the event,
Sandy Steele, Drew’s mom and one of the coordinators of the tournament, said
it is too early to tell.
However, it appears the
two-day event has grossed over $200,000 to help children and citizens of
Pitt County with special needs.
Talk 1070 will broadcast
live from Ironwood Monday for the event with interviews and information
about the tournament. It is expected that the final tally will be announced
at that time.
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Henry Hinton's
This page updated
04/21/08 07:02 PM.