While the skies overhead were heavy with smoke from numerous wildfires burning around Idaho, the smoke emanating from the fire pits roaring at Trail Creek Cabin was far more welcome. Delicious smells of roasted pork, beef and seasoned potatoes greeted the nearly 200 guests invited to the 36th Annual Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament.
As friends and families converged on the sumptuous feast, the atmosphere was relaxed and jovial. The attendees – including celebrities from the sporting world such as Joe Washington, Jack Morris and Frank Quilici, stars of the screen such as Kevin Sorbo and Arte Johnson, and Idaho VIPs Muzzie Braun, Mark Johnson and Congressmen Crapo and Simpson - enjoyed a traditional Western welcome BBQ, and learned their fate for the upcoming tournament.
Pinned to the side of the marquee were the pairings for the purpose of the event, the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament, played on the courses of Sun Valley Resort. The four-person two-best ball tournament has been raising money for a very worthy cause over the last four decades; research into a cure for cancer and leukemia. In 2011, $700,000 was raised at this event, with proceeds benefiting the University of Minnesota Cancer Research Center in Minneapolis and the St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise.
Renamed this year to honor the tournament’s co-founder, baseball Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew (who passed away last year), the event was born from Killebrew’s desire to raise money for research into the disease that killed his Minnesota Twins teammate infielder Danny Thompson. For an excellent article on the history of the tournament and more details as to the weekend’s events, be sure to read Idaho Mountain Express sport’s editor Jeff Cordes’ piece here.