Plunkett, Woodson Headline Golf Fundraiser for Teen Brain Injury Research

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Entries Still Available for Tournament with Many Sports Stars, 3 NFL Hall-of-Famers and 20 Oakland Raiders

Toran Maronic was a D-1 football prospect before his traumatic brain injury.

Every golfer will play with one of these sports stars.

Entries still are available as more sports stars signed on to participate in the June 17 Game-Changer Celebrity Golf Classic in Rocklin, Calif., which is raising funds for research on traumatic brain injuries in high school football and other sports.

The Game-Changer Celebrity Golf Classic is headlined by former NFL greats and other sports celebrities, including three NFL Hall-of-Famers and 20 former Oakland Raiders, including Super Bowl MVP Jim Plunkett and living legend Charles Woodson.

“The fantastic response from members of the NFL is heart-warming knowing they are supportive of our cause,” said Jeffrey R. Jenkins, M.D., chief medical executive of Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, who is helping to promote the tournament. “Because of this spirit of cooperation, we will be able to make a huge difference in the knowledge about detection, prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injuries among high school athletes.”

The tournament is hosted by the family of 17-year-old Toran Maronic of Bear River High School in Grass Valley, who was a college prospect in football and lacrosse. In June 2016, the wide receiver was brain-injured during a 7-on-7 scrimmage. Specialists believed Toran would never come out of his coma or fully recover, but he did and just received clearance Thursday to pursue playing lacrosse and basketball again. He became the first patient enrolled in groundbreaking scientific research on “second-impact syndrome” among high school football players.

Proceeds of the tournament will go to the research project, which is being conducted by Robert C. Cantu, M.D., co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston. The research is sponsored by Practice Like Pros, which encourages high school football programs to hold practices like the NFL does. According to the group, just 2½ percent of NFL injuries happen during practices, while 58 percent of high school injuries occur at practice.

Oakland Raiders Hall of Famer Willie Brown and other greats like Ted Kwalick, Daryle Lamonica, Phil Villapiano and Rod Martin are among the 40 sports celebrities participating in the golf tournament. Every player who signs up will be in a five-some captained by one of the celebrities. Entry and sponsorship fees are tax-deductible.

“Every fivesome will be captained by a celebrity, so every golfer will play with one of these sports stars,” said Tournament Director Dave Maronic. “Entry and sponsorship fees are 100 percent tax-deductible because expenses are covered by our title sponsor, Sutter Health. We have no overhead, and organizers are all volunteers. Every dime will go to our charities.”

The event begins Friday, June 16, with a pairing party hosted by Charles Woodson Wines at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, with the golfing at Whitney Oaks in Rocklin on Saturday, June 17. That evening, the event returns to Thunder Valley with cocktails, awards and an auction of football memorabilia and other items.

To sign up for the event as a player or sponsor, go to http://www.T3charities.events/golf-event.html. For more information on the tournament or sponsorships, email David Maronic at toranmaronic(at)aol(dot)com or call (510) 693-9566.

Exclusive features for participants include:

  • Every entrant golfs with a sports celebrity
  • $100 swag bag
  • Pairings party with Charles Woodson Wines
  • Free food and drinks at event
  • Awards party with steak dinner
  • Raffle prizes and memorabilia auction
  • Autographs and pictures with NFL and other sports greats

Here are the Raiders playing in the tournament:

Charles Woodson, DB, 4xAll-Pro, 9xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion, Heisman Trophy winner
Jim Plunkett, QB, Oakland Raiders, 2xSuper Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, Heisman Trophy winner
Willie Brown, CB, 3xAll-AFL, 2xAll-Pro, 4xPro Bowl, AFL champion, 3xSuper Bowl champion, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Daryle Lamonica, QB, 2xPro Bowl, 3xAFL champion, 2xAFL MVP
Phil Villapiano, LB, 4xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
Ted Kwalick, TE, All-Pro, 3xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
Raymond Chester, TE, 4xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
Rod Martin, LB, Oakland Raiders, 2xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Jeff Barnes, LB, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Michael Bennett, RB, Pro Bowl
Ron Fellows, DB, 1981-88
Mervyn Fernandez, WR, 1987-92
Lincoln Kennedy, OT, 2xAll-Pro, 3xPro Bowl
Napoleon McCallum, RB, 1986-94
Bob Moore, TE, 1971-75
Vance Mueller, RB, 1986-91
Mike Siani, WR, Super Bowl champion
Art Thoms, DE, 1965-71
Tim Johnson, LB, 2002-2005
Teddy Atlas III, Oakland Raiders’ current Scouting Coordinator

In addition, there are several other NFL greats and other sports stars playing, including:

Ottis Anderson, RB, St. Louis Cardinals, N.Y. Giants, All-Pro, 2xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears, All-Pro, 7xPro Bowl
Dan Bunz, LB, San Francisco 49ers, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Glenn Cadrez, LB, Denver Broncos, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Mark Collins, DB, New York Giants, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Conrad Dobler, OL, St. Louis Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, 3xPro Bowl
Loreto Garza, World Boxing Champion
Dwight Hicks, FS, San Francisco 49ers, 2xAll-Pro, 4xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Derek Kennard, OL, Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl champion
Tony “The Tiger” Lopez, 3xWorld Boxing Champion
Leonard Marshall, DE, New York Giants, 2xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
Jonathan Ogden, OT, Baltimore Ravens, 4xAll-Pro, 11xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Harold Pressley, F, Villanova University, Sacramento Kings, NCAA champion
Gerald Riggs, RB, Atlanta Falcons, 2xAll-Pro, 3xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
Willie Roaf, OT, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, 6xAll-Pro, 11xPro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Del Rodgers, RB/KR, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl champion
Greg Vaughn, OF/DH, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, 4xAll-Star
Charlie Weaver, LB, Detroit Lions
Eric Wright, CB, San Francisco 49ers, 2xAll-Pro, 2xPro Bowl, 4xSuper Bowl champion
Sutter Health, the title sponsor of the event, was named one of the nation’s top five large health systems in 2016 thanks to its integrated network of physician, employee and volunteer pioneers-more than 60,000 people strong. Rooted in Sutter Health’s not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care. For more information about the Sutter Health network visit sutterhealth.org.

T3 Charities, a foundation in support of Bear River High School’s Toran Maronic, is dedicated to helping local families in need. Visit http://www.T3charities.events.

21 Strong Foundation was formed after a November 2016 traumatic brain injury suffered by a player at The Woodlands High School in Texas. It provides assistance nationwide to families affected by such tragedies. See http://www.21strongfoundation.org.

Practice Like Pros is a national movement to reduce needless injury in high school football, endorsed by Mike Ditka, Archie Manning, Tony Dorsett, Ronnie Lott, Warren Moon, Anthony Munoz and dozens of other progressive minds from football and medical science. Visit http://www.practicelikepros.com.

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Gary Zavoral
Sutter Health
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