WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The 18th annual Willie Stargell Celebrity Invitational will go a little off course this year. The usual three-day event, typically held the first weekend in November at the Country Club of Landfall, will go virtual.
The 40-plus celebrities who come in each year for the invitational will still play golf, but they’ll do it remotely as local and out-of-area sponsors and participants tee off on the greens at Landfall and other area golf courses around the country.
While respecting all rules and regulations for social distancing, participants will golf at any course of their choosing on any day from Friday, October 16 through Friday, November 1.
“Due to the pandemic, the Board of Directors of the Willie Stargell Foundation made the difficult decision to go to a virtual/remote event this year,” says Margaret Weller-Stargell, President of the Willie Stargell Foundation.
“It is the first time since our 2003 inception that we haven’t all gathered together in person with our celebrity guests, sponsors, donors and volunteers.”
In addition to golf changing course this year, there will be a virtual silent auction from October 18-24. The black-tie gala traditionally held at the Country Club of Landfall will go virtual as well. Volunteers will host private dinners in their homes Saturday, November 7, with no more than 12 guests. The hosts will secure donations from their guests during dinner.
The celebrity invitational raises money to help people living with kidney disease.
Willie Stargell, a Pittsburgh Pirates legend and member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, died from kidney failure in 2001. His widow, Margaret, started the annual fundraiser in 2003 as a tribute to her late husband.
Canceling the event was never under consideration.
“The needs of the patients and the community the Willie Stargell Foundation serves do not go away as a result of the COVID Pandemic,” says Tim Gardner, chairman of the board of directors. “In fact, they need our support now more than ever. The board and committees have worked tirelessly to plan a creative virtual gala and golf weekend. On behalf of the Willie Stargell Foundation, I would like to thank the community for their continued support.”
To make a donation to the Willie Stargell Foundation or to bid on an auction item, click here.
For details on how to host a dinner or participate in virtual golf, click here.