Staff and Herald reports
MARYSVILLE – There were winners for longest drive, closest to the pin and overall best-ball four-man team low score.
There were winners in a raffle and silent auction, which included a Felix Hernandez package of prizes, an autographed basketball and umpire masks.
And they were all winners at the buffet table.
But the biggest winners were the kids supported by Umps Care Charities, the official philanthropy wing of MLB umpires, which provides financial and emotional support for youth and families in need.
Major League umpire Tripp Gibson of Marysville and others for the fifth-straight year put on the Umps Care All-Star Break Golf Scramble Tuesday at Cedarcrest Golf Course. His wife, Danna, does much of the organizing.
Umps Care funds three programs:
•Blue Crew Tickets, in which at-risk youth such as those battling chronic illness, in foster care or from military families are given the chance to go to a game, visit the locker rooms and get onto the field.
•Blue for Kids, in which umpires visit children’s hospitals and provide a Build-A-Bear Workshop experience for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
•All-Star College Scholarship, in which children who were adopted at age 13 or older are provided with financial assistance for college.
Nearly 100 golfers took part the first year the tournament was open to the public, with approximately $25,000 raised for Umps Care. Last year, there were 140 participants and about $37,000 was raised. Totals today were not readily available.
The popularity of the event has grown. This year’s tourney sold out more than a month in advance. The community has gotten involved, with contributions from the city of Marysville and several businesses from around Snohomish County.
Gibson, 37, said when he became a MLB umpire, Umps Care was something he wanted to be a part of. Although it’s changed now, he didn’t get the chance as a minor league ump.
“I’m very passionate about helping our youth, teaching our youth, helping them become good citizens,” he told The Herald. “Giving back is something I learned from my parents, and it’s something I always wanted to do. When I go on hospital visits or help kids, I do it somewhat selfishly because I know I’m giving back and doing my part to help youth.”