Cigar Aficionado

Gala, ProAm to Benefit Golfer Jim Thorpe

Golfer Jim Thorpe, a star of golf's Champion's Tour, is in prison after losing a two-year legal battle with the Internal Revenue Service. He and his wife, Carol, are at risk of losing their home, so Orlando banker Jeff Ramsey has created a benefit to assist the family, and some of golf's elite are stepping up to help one of their own in his time of need.

The benefit will begin with a dinner and auction on June 21 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The following day, June 22, there will be a ProAm golf tournament held on the South Course of the resort's award winning Lake of Isles Golf Course.

The dinner gala, which costs $200 per person, will include both a silent and a traditional auction and includes food and drink. The night will be hosted by star boxer Antonio Tarver, former light heavyweight champion and the star of Rocky Balboa, and Willie E. Gary, a star lawyer known as the Giant Killer.

Celebrity attendees will include gridiron legends Dick Butkis and Jim Rice.

Everyone who plays in the golf outing, which costs $1,500 per person, will get to play with a professional golfer. The list of confirmed golfers, according to Ramsey, includes Charles Howell III, Chris DiMarco, Andy Bean, Fulton Allem, Allen Doyle, Joey Sindelar, Gene Jones, Mike Hulbert and Brad Bryant.

Ramsey, who does fundraising for the Boy Scouts of America, got to know Thorpe when he was trying to raise money for the Scouts. Thorpe helped him out, and Ramsey sees this as a way he can pay him back. "Due to the financial strain of Jim defending himself in the IRS lawsuit, they're at risk for losing their home," said Ramsey.

For more information on the event, and to purchase tickets, contact Steve Tantillo at

To read Jim Thorpe's story, click here