Pandemic doesn’t stop fundraiser for JJK Center that helps underserved children

Illinois

EDWARDSVILLE. IL – A golf tournament during a pandemic? It took an Olympic champion to pull it off.  Fox 2 was in Edwardsville with more on the fundraiser for the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center.

We were at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville, where 148 golfers didn’t mind the new social distancing restrictions for a chance to spend the day with six-time Olympic medal winner Jackie Joyner-Kersee and support her center in East St. Louis.

The 8th annual JJK Scramble Fundraiser was originally scheduled for May but then moved to July because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  All the proceeds go to Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center which serves more than 3,000 children in her hometown of East St. Louis. It offers after school and summer programs and sports activities. And fellow East St. Louis native and Mizzou Head Basketball Coach Cuonzo Martin is a big supporter and played in the morning shotgun start.

“So, I’ve been like a big sister to Cuonzo you know I’m a little older than him but uh you know it was great to have Cuonzo Martin and Marco Harris and the crew from Mizzou to come down,” said Kersee.

Golfer Tim Keeter has played in the tournament for six years, “financially  it means so much for the center and for  the kids down there to keep the center open so they have a place to go they have an after school program and a summer we coach baseball down there through the summer and basketball in the winter.”

Golf committee chair Chuch Gulledge said, you know we’ve been pleasantly surprised but one of the things about people that support Jackie is that most of our supporters and a lot of the players that have been in this before came back and participated.”

You may have noticed Jackie Joyner-Kersee with that extra-large face shield, she was getting a lot of comments, but JJK says she is an asthmatic and she wanted to take extra precautions during the pandemic to protect herself and others.

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