November 1, 2007
A year ago, PGA Tour player Jerry Kelly asked PGA Tour official Mickey Bradley, from Biloxi, how he could help the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The end result was the Kelly-Bradley Habitat Pro-Am.
In just 30 days, Kelly and Bradley organized the event and 19 other PGA Tour players committed their time, hearts and energy to help. The $76,000 that was raised, combined with a materials donation from 84 Lumber, allowed Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast to build three homes in less than a year. The homes were recently completed and the families began to move into their new homes
On the course, Steve Jones' team won last year's pro-am.
Although this pro-am was intended as a one-time event by Kelly and Bradley, both recognized this opportunity to make a difference.
As a result, the event has been scheduled again - for Monday at Shell Landing in Gautier - the day after the last PGA Tour event in Florida.
"I played the PGA Tour's Ben Hogan Tour (Nationwide Tour) events on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I wanted to help," Kelly said. "I know of no other charity event where my friends and I can make a bigger impact than by building three homes each year to help the recovery."
John Daly, Joe Durant, Bob Tway, Heath Slocum, Brian Bateman, Jerry Smith, Anthony Kim, Neal Lancaster, Woody Austin, Harrison Frazar and Kelly are committed to play in this year's event and others are expected to play.
"I am thankful for all the support we have received from players, participants and sponsors and I hope to see everyone come out to this year's event," said Bradley, tournament founder and host.
Kent Adcock, director of business development and community relations for Habitat for Humanity of the Gulf Coast, said that the goal is to raise money for three more houses. Habitat for Humanity hopes to continue the event until 15 houses are built.
Sponsorships start as low as $250 and there are still pro-am spots available where participants play with a PGA Tour player for an entry fee of $1,275 per person. That is just a quarter of the normal cost to play with a pro in PGA Tour events.