WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - The annual Niswonger Children's Hospital Golf Classic teed off Monday morning at the Virginian Golf Club in Washington County.
Dozens of golfers dug deep into their wallets for a chance to play a round with some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment.
"It's always good to see some people you played against, some people you played with, and people who you have a whole lot in common with," says retired Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith.
Eighteen celebrities from the worlds of professional sports and entertainment headed out for a round of golf at the Virginian Golf Club Monday morning.
Names like Emmitt Smith, Dan Marinio, Darius Rucker, Jason Witten, Bruce Smith, Corey Parvin and more helped lure in the local golfers willing to pay the price to play a round with a star.
All of the money raised goes back to the Niswonger Children's Hospital. "There's always need at the children's hospital," says Patty Bolton, who heads up the Signature events for the Mountain States Foundation.
This year the money is going to buy medication dosing equipment specialized for the young patients. "They come at a lofty price of about $5,000 each. We are going to make a difference after today," says Bolton.
Organizers say this year's event raised over $700,000, almost doubling last year's total.
For stars like famed quarterback Dan Marino, who played at the event last year, the classic is an exciting way to improve the lives those who need help. "It's always good to come play golf and make a difference in kids' lives, and the concert last night, it's a great event," says Marino.
The golf classic is one of three Signature events for the children's hospital each year. The Mountain States Foundation also hosts the Spirit Gala in January and Dragon Boat Festival in September.
Organizers say they were surprised by the amount of money raised during a concert in Greeneville Sunday night. Darius Rucker auctioned off three autographed guitars, raising a total of more than $60,000.