POSTED: Friday, May 13, 2011 - 6:18pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 13, 2011 - 6:45pm
EL PASO - Nearly 120 golfers, including 18 current and retired NFL players, turned out for an annual charity tournament at Painted Dunes Golf Course. The Annual Ray Mickens Celebrity Golf Tournament supports a number of programs here in the Borderland. We caught up with Ray on the links this afternoon.
Combine golf, great music and good food, and you're putting on a great day of entertainment. Former NFL star and El Paso native Ray Mickens brought his friends out to play. Some current and retired NFL players hit the course to raise money for his charity causes in the Annual Ray Mickens Celebrity Golf Tournament.
"Ray is a good friend of mine and anytime I can help friends with good benefits, I'm going to come out and help," said retired NFL player Oliver Miller.
"This is my first time at this tournament and I've been trying to get out here every year and I couldn't," said retired NFL player Lemuel Stanton.
Mickens started the charity tournament eight years ago. "I wanted to do something to raise money to give back to the city youth and do some programs like the reading program, an intern program and this is one of the events that I do every year now," said Mickens.
He says he's had tremendous support over the years. "I enjoy doing it. They enjoy doing it. They enjoy flying out here and it's a fun time," said Mickens.
Yes it is, especially when there's a little friendly competition involved. "I want to beat Ray and "Big O" (Oliver Miller) and those guys over there. I'm going to beat them," said Stanton.
"That's not going to happen," replied Miller. "That's my whooping toy. I practice on him, get different shots. Did you see that man's swing? He's worse than Happy Gilmore.
Some of the money from the tournament will help pay for a football camp Ray is holding tomorrow at his old school: Andress High.
"It's free. Free food. Free NFL grab bags, autographs and it's just a great time. They'll get to meet these NFL players," said Mickens.
And Mickens says kids will learn about more than football. Mickens said, "They'll learn football skills, life skills, everything that they need essentially to grow up with and be good role models for the community."
Mickens says he appreciates the support his hometown has shown him over the years and he says there's no place like El Paso.
"Coming back makes me feel good and gives me goosebumps everytime," said Mickens. "I feel the hospitality and the warmth of my hometown."
The free football camp is being held tomorrow morning at Andress High School from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It's open to kids between 8 and 18 years old. If you're interested in participating, all you have to do is show up before-hand to register. About 400 kids are expected.