Celebrity athletes continue to sign on the attend the star-studded Art of the Olympians College of Life Foundation Premiere Golf Classic to be played Dec. 2 to 4 at The Colony Golf & Country Club in Bonita Springs.
Joining the 50 celebrity athletes, including previously announced Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mike Eruzione and Carl Lewis are:
-Thurman Thomas, football: Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins; 2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame running back
-LaShawn Merritt, track and field: USA Olympic 400m and 4x400m relay; 2 gold medals
-Justin Gatlin, track and field: USA Olympic 100m, 4x100m relay and 200m; 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals
-Peter Vanderkaay, swimming: USA Olympic 400m freestyle, 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay; 2 gold and 2 bronze medals
-Carly Patterson, gymnastics: USA Olympic balance beam, individual all-around and team; 1 gold and 2 silver medals
-Andre Reed, football: Buffalo Bills; 7-time Pro Bowl wide receiver
-Chris Doleman, football: Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers; 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end/linebacker
-Maurice Greene, track and field: 100m, 4x100m relay; 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals
The inaugural golf tournament pairs celebrity-athletes with amateurs at a fundraiser for Art of the Olympians Foundation, the Fort Myers-based museum and gallery. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the nonprofit Art of the Olympians Foundation in promoting the highest ideals of humanity with their creative talents through the sport/art relationship by providing programs of art, education, sport and cultural outreach to inspire the world.
The exclusive event is slated to include 29 foursomes, plus pros. Player golf packages begin at $5,000 per foursome and include eight tickets to the Golf Classic dinner and auction, practice round, golf for four with a celebrity-athlete plus tournament food and beverage. Player packages are still available.
The title sponsor of the inaugural tournament is College of Life Foundation Inc.
The presenting sponsor is WCI Communities. Other sponsors currently committed to the tournament are The Colony Golf & Country Club and The News-Press Media Group. Additional sponsorship packages are available.
The Art of the Olympians Museum and Gallery at the Al Oerter Center for Excellence, a global learning center, is a nonprofit organization home to unique exhibitions of Olympian art, Olympic memorabilia and educational activities. The museum and gallery opened in 2010 and has since secured the rights to display the USA Olympic rings, an act protected by Congress.
For additional information, call 239-332-5055 or visit www.artoftheolympians.org. AOTO is located at 1300 Hendry Street, on the waterfront in downtown Fort Myers.