McMackin headlines celebrity tourney

It was a star-studded event worthy of its title. University of Hawai‘i head football coach Greg McMackin, four-time Super Bowl champion Jesse Sapolu, Miami Dolphins fullback Reagan Mauia, former NBA star Truck Robinson, local stars Jonathan Ota and T.J. Kua were among those who headlined the Grove Farm and Greg McMackin Celebrity Golf Tournament’s inaugural Pairing Off reception, last night at the Puakea Golf Course.

Proceeds from this fundraiser benefits the Hawai‘i Warrior football booster club (Na Koa) and the Kaua‘i Community College Culinary Arts program.

“I love coming here,” said McMackin, who had visited Kaua‘i for previous golf tournaments. “(Kaua‘i’s) always been one of the football program’s biggest supporters.”

Guests, which included local business people, county officials and members of the Kaua‘i, Kapa‘a and Waimea high school football teams, were treated to an open bar and buffet and had a chance to bid on high-quality items — an autographed Buick Invitational flag signed by Tiger Woods, a basketball signed by Larry Bird, a jersey signed by Magic Johnson and an autographed Warrior football helmet from McMackin.

“I love the fellowship here,” said council woman Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, an attendee of the event. “I just love the connections made between the kids from high school, to the professional players to the coaches to the business people from the local community who all support the (football) program.”

This is the first year that Grove Farm has sponsored the event.

“Grove Farm wanted to give back to the community,” Grove Farm C.E.O Warren Haruki said.

Haruki said banquets such as last night’s was a good example of how players and coaches could build camaraderie in an informal setting.

Groups of four and a celebrity are set to tee off early this morning at Puakea. Grove Farm and McMackin will present the checks from the fundraiser this afternoon.


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