Celebrity Golf Tournament starts Friday

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks announced that more than 20 current and former Diamondbacks players and broadcasters will be on hand this Friday when the team hosts its Celebrity Golf Classic -- "A Salute to Veterans" at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, AZ. The sold out event is presented by Chase and begins at 11:00 a.m. Among those expected to attend are All-Star outfielder Justin Upton, 20-game winner Ian Kennedy, Special Assistant to the President & CEO Luis Gonzalez and D-backs General Manager Kevin Towers.

Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick and D-backs Military Affairs Specialist Captain Jack Ensch will be on hand throughout the day to welcome guests and members of the military. Numerous local veterans organizations and heroes will be honored by the D-backs in touching tributes. The club will work with the Arizona office of Rebuilding Together to renovate a home for a veteran in the Northwest Valley in time for the holidays. In addition, the D-backs will work with Arizona's VA Hospital to identify several wounded and recovering veterans who will rehab, train and participate in the VA National Recreation Event, which caters to veterans with life-altering injuries.

Among the other organizations on site will be Packages from Home, which sends care and comfort packages to deployed American military heroes stations in active duty. Representatives from Honor and Remember will present the Honor and Remember flag to the family of a veteran killed in action and the D-backs will fund a number of flags to be presented to families at a ceremony at Chase Field next season. Chase sponsored a season-long effort to recognize veterans and active duty military at D-backs games this year, including ticket donations and on-field recognition.

Additionally, the team will grant a wish through the Arizona chapter of Wish for our Heroes, an organization that seeks to relieve the burdens of family separation, re-integration for deployed soldiers, hardship circumstances, and other means of assistance not covered by existing military charities. Throughout the day's events, participants and guests will have the opportunity to meet veterans and their families, autograph a special veterans salute banner to be delivered to an active duty base oversees, and take commemorative photographs with an Army National Guard helicopter.

Celebrities scheduled to attend the event are Upton, Kennedy, Gonzalez, Towers, current D-backs players J.J. Putz, Ryan Roberts, Paul Goldschmidt, Joe Saunders, Ryan Cook, Lyle Overbay, Micah Owings, coaches Matt Williams and Glenn Sherlock, former Diamondbacks players Reggie Sanders, Devon White, Junior Spivey, Armando Reynoso, Doug Davis, Omar Daal and Albie Lopez as well as broadcaster Greg Schulte and KNIX's Matt McAllister of "Ben & Max." Also on hand will be Paralympic Gold Medalist and veteran John Tuzzolino, who has become a passionate athlete and advocate for wounded veterans.

Immediately following the tournament, at approximately 4:30 p.m., there will be a VIP after-party presented by Gila River Casinos, which will include a Veterans Day Salute, dinner, a silent auction, the presentation of awards and a special 50th birthday celebration for Towers.

Each golfer will receive an amazing array of D-backs gift items, including a golf bag featuring the NL West Championship logo presented by Gila River Casinos, autographed baseballs and a personalized bobblehead of themselves sponsored by DPR Construction. Other prizes include autographed D-backs tournament flags presented by APS, rare autographed memorabilia and more. Various raffles and contests will take place throughout the day, with premier items including a one-of-a-kind Addison Taylor Watch created exclusively for this event by Ernst Benz, valued at $3,200. Day long hospitality on site is sponsored by Pepsi. Whirlwind Golf Club is located at 5692 W. North Loop Rd, Chandler, AZ 85226.

Celebrity golfers will be available for interviews between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and media members interested in covering the tournament should contact the D-backs' Communications Department in advance of the event.