Celebrities score for local organizations

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

To the proud new owners of autographed Willie Mays baseballs and to the area golfers who got the chance to play with four former NFL quarterbacks, Monday’s Celebrity Players Tour gala and auction and Tuesday’s Celebrity Skins golf match were undoubtedly a success.

To the Natchez Children’s Home and the Natchez Senior Citizen’s Center, the beneficiaries of the charity events, the auction and golf match were godsends.

The auction raised nearly $15,000 for the home, said Nancy Hungerford, the director of the children’s home. While some of that money will help offset holiday costs, she said that most of the money will go toward the day-to-day operation of the private organization.

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&uot;We don’t get any government grant money, so we’ll probably put the money in the bank and live off it in the winter months,&uot; Hungerford said.

&uot;And I have to thank the people at Isle of Capri Hotel,&uot; where the auction was held, she added. &uot;They covered all the expenses for us and left us free and clear.&uot;

Woody Allen, who helped organize the Skins game with celebrities Jim McMahon, Stan Humphries, Steve Bartkowski and Browning Nagle at Beau Pr\u00E9 Country Club, said he isn’t yet sure exactly how much money was raised for the Senior Citizen’s Center.

&uot;When we started, all we were trying to do was come up with something to take advantage of the fact that these quarterbacks were coming to Natchez and do something to benefit the senior citizens,&uot; Allen said. &uot;We were able to do that. I think the guys had fun,&uot; he added. &uot;It was a fun event.&uot;

Hungerford agreed, saying the quarterbacks appeared to have a good time, especially when the home invited them to dinner Monday before the auction.

&uot;We had one little girl that understood it was a signing,&uot; Hungerford said. &uot;So she got a crayon and a piece of paper and got all their autographs. But then she realized she was on to something, and she got the cook’s and the maintenance man’s and who knows who else.&uot;

Allen said a few of the quarterbacks had a good enough time to inquire about returning to Natchez in the spring to play again at Beau Pr\u00E9.

&uot;I’d love to have them back again,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ll see how it works out.&uot;

Hungerford would also like to have another auction. &uot;I feel like it’s going to expand, I just don’t know which way it’s going to go,&uot; she said. &uot;But I think there’s enough momentum on both sides to try and do this again.&uot;

The events were made possible this time with help of Finley Trosclair and Lee Moore of the Celebrity Players Tour, Hungerford added.