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Celebrities come to town for golf tournament, autograph signing

Published: Nov. 7, 2014 at 11:15 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2014 at 11:48 PM EST
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Celebrities mingle with patients at The Willie 'Pops' Stargell Dialysis Center. (Source: WECT)
Celebrities mingle with patients at The Willie 'Pops' Stargell Dialysis Center. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Willie Stargell Celebrity Golf Tournament kicks off this weekend at the County Club of Landfall, bringing in stars from the NFL and MLB.

Celebrities and former professional athletes from all over the county are taking a swing to end the fight against kidney disease. However, before they set foot on the course dozens of celebrities were at New Hanover Regional Medical Center to meet the men and women who are undergoing treatment at The Willie 'Pops' Stargell Dialysis Center.

"It's all about giving back," said former NFL tight end, Andrew Givens. "It's all about making a change for people with kidney disease not only the patients but their families that go through a lot as well."

Willie Stargell was a former Pittsburgh Pirate baseball player who passed away from Kidney Failure in 2001. It was Stargell's desire to have patients receive treatment in a comfortable and relaxed setting. Something current patient Sheila Groves appreciates.

"They have the most comfortable settings," Groves said. "It's almost like home but just a little different."

The Willie Stargell Dialysis Unit provides nearly 4,000 patient treatments each year. Proceeds from this weekends tournament will go directly to the Dialysis Unit.

Celebrities will be signing autographs at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Mayfaire Saturday, Nov. 8 from 9 -10 a.m. Celebrities include Jerome Bettis, John Bunting, Roberto and Luis Clemente, Ma'ake and Chris Kemoeatu, and many more. Follow this link for a full list: http://bit.ly/1tS0Zm2

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