Louisville native Jay Ballinger will host his second annual celebrity golf scramble on Monday, September 19 at Quail Chase Golf Club, 7000 Cooper Chapel Road, in Louisville, KY. The 2nd Annual Jay Ballinger & Friends "On the Course for Kids" Celebrity Golf Tournament sponsored by Nationwide Insurance will benefit Louisville’s Home of the Innocents.
Celebrities scheduled to attend this year include country music artists Jake Owen, Josh Thompson, Bucky Covington (who you might remember from American Idol), the new country duo Miss Willie Brown, drummer Chris Fehn of Slipknot, drummer Greg Upchurch of 3 Doors Down, keyboardist Bobby Capps of 38 Special, and former Survivor contestants Jerri Manthey and Jonny Fairplay.
The two man scramble will have a shot gun start at noon on Monday, September 19, with an acoustic concert following the awards ceremony at approximately 6:45 p.m. Registration for golfers is $100 per person. Tickets for the concert are $15 in advance or $20 day of show. All proceeds will benefit Home of the Innocents.
Fans are invited to come out to watch the scramble and meet and greet with the celebrities. Although there is no charge for watching, donations can be made at the registration table or by visiting Home of the Innocents. Return for the intimate acoustic concert and know that the entire purchase price of your ticket will benefit the Home.
The Home of the Innocents is a non-profit agency founded in 1880. The Home provides services to assist those in the community who are facing severe crisis, including: residential and community-based services to children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected; providing a hospital-like and home away from home environment for medically fragile children; and in-home and in-school support services for children with autism.
Ballinger, a product of Pleasure Ridge Park High School, now resides in Nashville, TN and works as the stage manager for country music’s Dierks Bentley. Early in his career, Ballinger returned to Louisville between jobs with various rock bands, including Days of the New. Ballinger has now found such a comfortable place working with Dierks Bentley that he has turned down opportunities to join the tours of Kid Rock and Bon Jovi.
Home of the Innocents will always hold a special place in Ballinger’s heart. Ballinger and his sister were both under the custody of Home of the Innocents when they were adopted at birth.
“I feel really lucky,” said Ballinger. “I look at some of these kids, I feel lucky that I had great parents who adopted me, let me chase my dreams, and I never had to spend a day in that home. I never had to be in that situation and placed in foster care and all that stuff,” he continued.
Ballinger is now in a position where he calls some of country music’s biggest stars his close friends. He has called upon these friends to help him give back to an organization that has given him so much. Last year, in the first celebrity golf scramble, Ballinger and friends raised nearly $47,000 for the Home. He recently called upon his contacts at Fender and Best Buy to donate instruments for a special music area Ballinger has helped create at the Home.
“I was one of the fortunate ones,” Ballinger said. “I’m in a place that I can give back. If you’re in place that you can give back and you can afford to give back, I feel like you should pay it forward. And that’s what I’m doing. I couldn’t think of anyone else that deserves it more than children.”
Photo: Courtesy On the Course for Kids