Tony's got it! Star power helping raise money for 13 years

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  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff


    [font=arial,helvetica]Hopewell Township native Tony Dorsett helps Sister Mary Thaddeus, right, and the McGuire Memorial Hone raise millions of dollars.
    The Times / Sally Maxson

    PINE TWP. - When asked what he remembers most about Tony Dorsett's performance in 1976, Matt Cavanaugh just smiled and said, "Where do I start?"

    The quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh during the national championship season of '76, Cavanaugh was the guy who handed off to Dorsett and then watched as No. 33 ran roughshod around, through and over the opponents.

    "Tony was on top of the world," said Cavanaugh, who's returned to Pitt this year as offensive coordinator for new coach Dave Wannstedt. "But despite all the talent he had, Tony was one of the most grounded, level-headed guys I'd ever met. He was such an unselfish player. He was always willing to help others out."

    Twenty-nine years later, things haven't changed much for Dorsett. A 1973 Hopewell High School graduate, Dorsett has accomplished everything imaginable as a football player. He won the Heisman Trophy en route to helping Pitt win the national title. He won a Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys. He's the seventh-leading rusher in NFL history and has his bronze bust on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Now, Dorsett is a Hall of Fame fund raiser. It's his name that's attached to the Tony Dorsett/McGuire Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic that was held Monday at Diamond Run Golf Club in Ohio Township and Treesdale Golf & Country Club in Pine Township.

    With net proceeds from Monday's event expected to reach $225,000 to $230,000, the tournament has raised about $2.4 million over the past 13 years for the 189 physically and mentally handicapped children and adults cared for at McGuire Memorial Home in Daugherty Township.

    "It might be around $2.5 million when it's all said and done," said Dorsett, a non-golfer when spent most of Monday schmoozing with 65 foursomes which paid $750 a golfer to play scramble golf with a celebrity. "It's really amazing, When this tournament first started, I had no idea how long it would last."

    Supporting Dorsett's cause this year were ex-Pitt stars Mark May, Hugh Green and Bill Maas. Former Pitt coaches Johnny Majors, Jackie Sherrill and Foge Fazio played. So did a pair of former Heisman Trophy running backs - George Rogers and Mike Rozier - as well as former Steelers star Franco Harris.

    There were at least 50 other celebs including Ty Law, the Aliquippa native and former New Englad Patriots cornerback who's still a free agent.

    "We've tried to reach out and bring in some new blood," Dorsett said.

    While Dorsett's name and the admirable work done at McGuire has fueled the tournament over the years, moving to Diamond Run and Treesdale has re-energized the event.

    Two years ago when the tournament was played at Beaver Lakes Country Club in Hopewell Township and Seven Oaks Country Club in Ohioville, 43 foursomes signed up.

    Last year, there were 64 groups. This year there were 65.

    "(Moving the tournament) was one of the most ingenious moves our tournament committee ever made," said Sister Mary Thaddeus, the McGuire Memorial Home director. "So many of our sponsors are from Pittsburgh and the Cranberry Township area that it made sense for us to make the move. We still have great support from Beaver County, but it was time for us to move up a notch."

    Regardless of where the tournament is played, Cavanaugh is happy to help out.

    "This is special," Cavanaugh said. "It's amazing the amont of money they've raised over the years. But with Tony, maybe we shouldn't be surprised.

    "He's always been a first-class guy. And he still is."

    ┬ęBeaver County Times Allegheny Times 2005

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