Rancho Mirage, California (March 23, 2022) – Thanks to pro hockey Hall-of-Famer Grant Fuhr, dozens of star athletes, musicians and actors will come together to play golf and support a multimillion-dollar, 40th anniversary expansion of the Betty Ford Center—enabling the renowned addiction treatment and mental health care provider to help more people for generations to come.
Building on the success of last year's inaugural event, the second-annual Grant Fuhr Celebrity Invitational will be held May 14 at Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, Calif., just eight miles southeast of its beneficiary, the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage.
Celebrities expected to participate include baseball legends Ken Griffey, Jr., Ozzie Smith; Joe Carter and Johnny Damon; football greats Bo Jackson, Cris Carter, Marcus Allen, Sterling Sharpe and Jim McMahon; five-time NBA champion Ron Harper; hockey stars Jeremy Roenick and Marty McSorley; musicians Thomas McClary of The Commodores, Shawn Drover of Megadeth and Danny Seraphine of Chicago; actor Richard Karn; and many others. At a pairings dinner the evening before the tournament, former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf will share his story of recovery with fellow participants. Betty Ford's daughter Susan Ford Bales also will speak.
Fuhr says his own recovery from substance use issues is what drives his motivation to help others.
"I am so grateful for the gift of recovery; for my friends coming out to support this important cause; and for the partnership of the Betty Ford Center, which will turn our fun day on the links into comeback stories for countless others who find themselves like I did, stuck in a cycle of addiction," Fuhr said. "Today, because of recovery and the lifesaving love, care and support I received, I'm enjoying a positive, productive and fulfilling life beyond my dreams. To be able to pay it forward with the help of my friends and the Betty Ford Center means the world to me."
All event proceeds will support a four-year, $30 million transformation of the treatment center founded in 1982 by former First Lady Betty Ford and former U.S. Ambassador Leonard Firestone, enabling the Betty Ford Center to meet increasing demand for services, expand accessibility, and help more individuals, families and communities.
The Betty Ford Center is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's leading nonprofit system of addiction treatment, co-occurring mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services. Greg Fisher, executive director of development for Hazelden Betty Ford, says the COVID-19 pandemic and all of its related stressors have exacerbated what many believe to be the greatest addiction and mental health crisis in generations.
"At a time when so many are struggling, we are fortunate to have the impactful support of people like Grant Fuhr and his wife and business partner Lisa Fuhr, who are helping us build better lives in response to the growing and evolving healthcare needs in the Coachella Valley and beyond," Fisher said. "All of us at Hazelden Betty Ford are inspired by the Fuhrs' commitment to service and giving back. We deeply appreciate their passionate message of hope and powerful example of recovery. Their generosity, and that of everyone supporting and participating in the tourney, will help transform and save lives for many years."
Fuhr—whose community engagement also includes support for a new, soon-to-open minor league hockey arena in Palm Desert—was a six-time all-star goalie for the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers, helping lead the franchise to five Stanley Cup championships. He became the first Black player elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 and was named one of the 100 greatest NHL players ever in 2017. A documentary, Making Coco: The Grant Fuhr Story, chronicles Fuhr's incredible hockey career as well as his recovery journey.
A few remaining spots are available in the tournament. Anyone interested in playing can register at GrantFuhrCelebrityInvitational.com/registration. For those who wish to support the cause but are unable to attend, a donation form can be downloaded at GrantFuhrCelebrityInvitational.com/donation-form.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction. Learn more at HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter.