SUGARLOAF, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Sports fans across the valley hit the links today with a local legend to help support a good cause. Hazleton native and Chicago Cubs manager – Joe Maddon – hosted his annual ‘Try Not To Suck Golf Tournament’ today in Sugarloaf. This is the second time the tournament has been held in the valley — teeing off at the Valley Country Club – a course Maddon says is close to his heart.
“For me it really represents a lot of great memories. Just coming down here with my uncle, and interacting with the men from the city,” Maddon said.
The tournament is named after the mantra Maddon brought to the cubs, and serves as a fundraiser for the Hazleton Integration Project. The project’s goal is to assist economically disadvantaged youth and adults. Maddon says it’s also a way to bring people of different cultures in Hazleton together, specifically to unite those of Hispanic and Anglo heritages.
“A couple years ago, when I came home, in 2010 I saw a tremendous disparity. There’s a fear both ways – not just one way, both ways. And I thought we should do something about it,” he said.
The home base for the project is the Hazelton One Community center. It’s goal is to build trust and respect among all of the region’s ethnic cultures.
As for choosing the type of fundraiser to help raise money for the community center, Maddon says it was a no brainer.
“Everybody loves to play golf. And it’s a great way to generate income or generate monies for situations like ours. A foundations and a charity,” he said.
Maddon encourages people to visit the community center.
“Come see and see it. Come meet our kids. Come see what it looks like on a daily basis. I promise you’re gonna leave impressed,” he said.