MURRAY SCHOLARS MAIN BENEFICIARIES
OF JIM MURRAY SILVERROCK ALUMNI CHALLENGE

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, Junior Golfers in the Coachella Valley and International Golf Museum will also benefit from 36-hole charity golf tournament at La Quinta’s SilverRock Resort, Dec. 11-13

LA QUINTA, CA – When celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment frolic with alumni teams from across the nation in the seventh annual Jim Murray SilverRock Alumni Challenge at La Quinta’s SilverRock Resort, Dec. 11-13, the winners will be the seven people who will be awarded $5,000 journalism scholarships from the proceeds of the tournament.

Junior golfers in the Coachella Valley and the International Golf Museum will also benefit from the event. In addition to the seven Murray Scholars, the winning alumni team will have the honor of having a $5,000 donation made to the college or university of its choice.

The idea of Murray Scholars was the brainchild of Linda McCoy-Murray, the widow of late Jim Murray, a Pulitzer Prize-winning literary genius. Murray never took himself seriously. It didn’t matter that he had been named Sportswriter of the Year for 12 years in a row or that he had entertained generations of readers with his witty commentary. As far as Murray was concerned, he always considered himself just another working stiff. He had often told his wife that six months after he died, people would refer to him as Jim Who.

“I could not let that happen,” McCoy-Murray said. “One morning, a couple of months after Jim died, I was sitting in the family room looking at all of his awards and plaques and thought to myself, ‘What in the world am I going to do with all these things?’ That’s when a light came on. I called two of his longtime friends, Don Klosterman and Steve Brener to get their thoughts on establishing a foundation in Jim’s name and raising money for journalism scholarships through an annual golf tournament. They both approved the idea and the inaugural Jim Murray Memorial Golf Classic was held on the first anniversary of Jim’s death, August 16, 1999, at the Riviera Country Club. We created the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation (JMMF) and provided seven scholarships for our first class of Murray Scholars in 2000.”

McCoy-Murray decided to call the winners Murray Scholars because she thought, “There are Rhodes Scholars and Fulbright Scholars, so why not Murray Scholars? When we started, 15 journalism schools participated. Now we have 25 journalism school participate in the annual essay contest. Each year I personally handpick seven sports columnists from across the country to judge the essays.”

The honor of winning one of the coveted scholarships that bears the Murray name can be overwhelming.

Brian Triplett, one of the 2004 winners from the University of Iowa, wrote, “The experience I had for those couple of days was incredible. I know it will stay with me for the rest of my life. And thank you for a tour of your home. That was the most amazing experience. I was in awe.”

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Adam Karon, one of the 2000 winners from UCLA wrote, “This is quite an honor to win an award having Mr. Murray’s name attached to it. I have read Jim Murray and agree with most of the sports world that he was the best of all time.”

Winners can also get some career help from former winners.

Arash Markazi, a 2002 winner from USC who is now employed by Sports Illustrated, sent a note to Murray Scholar winners after meeting them. “It was a pleasure meeting each of you last weekend and I want to welcome you to the Murray Scholar family. If any of you ever make it out to New York, I would love to show you around the SI offices and take you to lunch. If I can be of any help in your career, please do no hesitate to call or email me.”

“I have so many more notes from past winners, it is so heartwarming to know how much they appreciate what we are doing,” said McCoy-Murray.

The entry fee for the 36-hole tournament is $1,500 per player or $6,000 per four-person team. Besides playing alongside celebrities for two days, players will get a ticket to the Murray Scholarship Reception, admission to the Great Ones dinner which is honoring former Dodger great and Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, a golf clinic featuring one of the great golf teachers in America, tee prizes, an amenity bag and reduced rates at the world famous La Quinta Resort and Club. For further information, please contact the Tournament Office at 760-564-5630 or by email at MurraySilverRockChallenge@yahoo.com.

The Jim Murray SilverRock Alumni Challenge will consist of 36 four-person teams representing colleges and universities from across America competing over 36 holes in a best-ball format using current handicaps. There will be a celebrity playing in each group and his/her score, with handicap, can be used to help the team. A perpetual trophy signifying the winning team will be awarded, as well as individual player trophies.

The two-day tournament will be produced for television by Fourteenth Colony Productions and aired by Fox Sports West. This will be the first time college alums have a chance to form golf teams to play against other college alumni teams in a setting on television.

Some of the celebrities who have played in the past Murray events include Arnold Palmer, Chris McCarron, Bobby Rahal, James Woods, Elgin Baylor, James Worthy, Dennis Miller, Robert Wahl, Rick Dees and Rick Reilly. Celebrities for the 2005 tournament will be named at a later date.

After six years in the Los Angeles area, the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation (JMMF) has moved to La Quinta and has partnered with the International Golf Museum (IGM), producer of the event. The IGM was established for the purpose of developing and running a permanent facility in the Coachella Valley to pay homage to the game of golf. The IGM will also feature a Jim Murray Golf Writers’ Wing.

About the City of La Quinta
The City of La Quinta is a community nestled at the base of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains, just 30 minutes from Palm Springs, in southern California's Coachella Valley. With its small-town friendliness, La Quinta is a peaceful and relaxing community. However, it is also a year-round, multi-recreational and destination resort community offering some of the best shopping and dining in the Valley. Known as the "Gem of the Desert," La Quinta enjoys low humidity combined with an abundance of sunshine year-round.


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About SilverRock Resort
SilverRock Resort is a 525-acre development by the City of La Quinta’s Redevelopment Agency. SilverRock Resort’s master plan calls for two 18-hole championship golf courses, a permanent club house, a luxury hotel, a boutique hotel, a world-class spa, retail shopping and recreational opportunities for the community. The Arnold Palmer Classic Course, the first of two courses to open on the site, is operated by Landmark Golf Management.

About the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation
The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a private California nonprofit 501(c) (3) Corporation, was established in 1999 by Linda McCoy-Murray to perpetuate her late husband’s memory, Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist Jim Murray, and his love and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism.

The Foundation’s goal is to raise funds throughout the year to provide scholarships for print journalism students. Seven $5,000 scholarships are given annually, with one earmarked for Jim Murray’s alma mater Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) and one for Columbia University, in honor of his 1990 Pulitzer Prize.

About the International Golf Museum Foundation
The International Golf Museum Foundation was established in 2000 as a private California nonprofit 501(c) (3) Corporation established to build and operate the International Golf Museum. The Museum will be a true tourist attraction featuring the most modern of technologies and a true interactive experience to educate about the game’s past, present and future, and to foster research into the sport. As part of the Foundation’s mission to promote and provide education about the sport, IGM currently supports a junior golf initiative to foster youth participation and training.

About Fourteenth Colony Productions
Fourteenth Colony Productions, LLC. is a diverse entertainment company and a leading independent producer of a wide range of radio and television programming for broadcast networks, cable networks, distributors and advertisers, as well as a leader of communications experiences from live events and meetings to integrated marketing programs for major corporations. Fourteenth Colony, producers of the nationally syndicated weekly live two-hour golf talk radio show TEE IT UP (teeitupshow.com), has created and produced many hours of entertainment programming — from radio and television shows to TV commercials and Infomercials to Sales Training Videos. Fourteenth Colony provides media buys on all nationwide cable networks as well as hundreds of TV stations throughout the country.
For more information about the IGM and its programs, call (888) 232-1372 or e-mail: info@internationalgolfmuseum.com

 

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