New Pensacola, Florida-based aerospace company Gulf Coast Aerospace Partners is the presenting sponsor of the first annual Gulf Coast Celebrity Classic to Raise Awareness and Funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. It tees off May 28 at Perdido Bay Golf Club in Perdido Key, Florida. Also collaborating and promoting the tournament is NFL player Chris Goode, whose family is all too familiar with ALS.
Gulf Coast Aerospace’s aims to help raise money to help support research that will someday cure this disease through The Goode Foundation and to create a first-rate event in the Florida panhandle.
Other sponsors of the May 28 tournament include: Cumulus Pensacola, ESPN Pensacola, Bob Baumhowers, Mobiles Senior Bowl, Brasfield & Gorrie, Attorney James Burns, Team Gleason, PGA Tour Superstore, Dick’s Sporting Goods, State Farm Agent John Kizziah, Gulf Coast Premier Promotions, Lionfish Apparel, The UPS Store on Blue Angel Parkway, GrubOn TV, Panhandle Warrior Partnership, Vault Spirits Co., Penthouse Spirits Co., Gulf Coast Brewery, The Ticket Sports Bar, The Golf Bike, The Riesberg Institute, New York Life, Florida West, Shimuzu, The Butcher Shoppe, Whataburger, Dick’s Wings, Panhandle Warrior Partnership, Callaway Golf Company, and Springdale Travel — the latter of which is offering a $10,000 cash prize to any participant who scores a hole-in-one.
Chris Goode of the The Goode Foundation played football for the University of Alabama from 1984-1986 before being selected in the 1987 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Goode played defensive back for the Colts for seven seasons, and is currently the president of the NFL Players Association, Birmingham Chapter. His brother Kerry Goode, a former Alabama running back, was diagnosed with ALS in August 2015.
Kerry Goode, a 1983 Hazlewood High graduate, is a member of the Goode Alabama Football Dynasty. He and brothers Chris, Pierre, and the late Clyde III, as well as first cousin Antonio Langham, all played for the Crimson Tide, with Kerry, Chris, and Antonio also going on to play in the NFL. Kerry’s teammate, Kevin Turner, a freshman at Alabama when Kerry was a senior, was also diagnosed with ALS — commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Serious disease has not been a stranger to the Goode family. Clyde Goode III was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer on Jan. 7, 2011, and the father of four died at the age of 43. Chris Goode has battled prostate cancer.
Kerry Goode played for Alabama from 1983-1987 and rushed for 1,572 yards and seven touchdowns. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him in the seventh round in 1988. He played one year with Tampa Bay and a season with the Miami Dolphins before retiring to work another six years with the NFL as a conditioning coach for the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams.
Approaching his battle with ALS like he has everything else in life, even though the battle this time is against something potentially terminal, Kerry said, “I’m placing God on my side, and I’m in it to win it.” In September 2015, Kerry established The Goode Foundation to support ALS research and people affected by the disease.
A currently incurable neurodegenerative disease of an as-yet-undetermined cause, ALS affects the nerve cells that control the muscles. As the disease progresses, the brain loses the ability to start and control voluntary muscle movement. Life expectancy from time of diagnosis is typically two to five years, according to the ALS Association.
Gulf Coast Aerospace Partners, in conjunction with the Goode Foundation, supports finding a cure for ALS, with a portion of the proceeds raised by the Gulf Coast Celebrity Classic to continue funding national research into ALS and other sports-related medical issues, as well as to support those who have been affected by ALS. Participating in the event will be Chris and Kerry Goode along with other celebrity players: Joe Cribs, Mark Everett, Kevin Drake, Ronald McKinnon, Antonio Langham, and Pat Saindon. There also will be a special book signing with Sherman Williams.
The tournament is a four-man scramble with a shotgun start at noon. The day will begin with children from The First Tee who will play and also have time to meet with the celebrity players. Activities will include longest drive and other golf skills to give the kids a chance to interact and learn how the athletes are making an impact after their careers to benefit ALS.
Golf legends like Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart, Tom Kite, and Curtis Strange have played the Perdido Bay Golf Club course, which Golf Digest nominated as “Best New Public Course.” Perdido Bay Golf Club was the former site of the Pensacola Open for 10 years, and continues to hold its integrity as a premier championship golf course.
Perdido Bay Golf Club is minutes away from the sandy Gulf Coast beaches of Perdido Key, Florida, and less than a 30-minute drive along the Gulf from Gulf Shores, Alabama. The Gulf Coast Celebrity Classic entry fee includes an after-party with food, music, and prizes. Sponsorships, players, hole sponsors, and donations are still being accepted. Player entry fees are $125 each, or a team of four for $400. A four-man team plus hole sponsorship is $500.
Gulf Coast Aerospace Partners is a minority-owned global resource management firm that combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, MRO, warehousing, risk management, marketing, and new business development for companies engaged or wanting to engage in more U.S. contracts, both civilian and military.