Manning, Marino, Witten head Niswonger field

11:00 am | June 6, 2012

JOHNSON CITY — Players at the 2012 Niswonger Children’s Hospital Golf Classic can expect another star-studded event this year, full of professional athletes from the worlds of golf, football, basketball and baseball. The event will take place Monday, June 25, at The Blackthorn Club at the Ridges.

Dallas Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten will return this year, along with Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning, PGA star Corey Pavin and the children’s hospital’s namesake and chief benefactor, Scott Niswonger. Newcomers for the 2012 tournament include former Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino and PGA stars Loren Roberts and Larry Mize.

“We are so excited about the lineup of celebrities coming to this year’s Golf Classic,” said Patty Bolton, corporate director of events for the Mountain States Foundation. “Each year, our special guests get so inspired by the event and the cause it supports that they want to come back the next year and bring their friends. It is amazing to see how much it has grown.”

Funds raised from the 2012 event will support radiation oncology services for patients at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

Slots for the tournament’s 100 players are already full, but there is still opportunity for local residents to participate.

“Since we have such an outstanding lineup of stars this year, we’ve added a gallery at hole 8 so that more people can participate,” said Bolton. “People can bring their own lawn chairs, and box lunches will be provided by OJ’s Famous Hot Dogs.”

Gallery registration fees are $100 for adults and $50 for children 12 and younger. Spectators are welcome to bring coolers with no alcoholic beverages.

Box lunches are included in the ticket price, and additional concessions will be available for purchase. Photos are permitted, but the gallery is asked to refrain from requesting autographs from the players.

Shuttle service for gallery seats will be provided from Highlands Baptist Church. To purchase tickets, call the Foundation office at 423-302-3131. For more information about the event, visit

The list of expected celebrities this year includes: Scott Niswonger – Chief benefactor of Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Jason Witten – Tight end for Dallas Cowboys, Peyton Manning – Quarterback for Denver Broncos, Dan Marino – Former quarterback for Miami Dolphins, Corey Pavin – PGA professional player, Loren Roberts – PGA professional player, Larry Mize – PGA professional player, Eric Schwarz – Corey Pavin’s caddy, Gerald Sensabaugh – Safety for Dallas Cowboys, Bill Bates – Former safety for Dallas Cowboys, Steve Johnson – Former tight end for Dallas Cowboys, Bobby Scott – Former quarterback for New Orleans Saints, Jimmy Gobble – Former relief pitcher for Colorado Rockies, Billy Wagner – Retired Major League Baseball relief pitcher, Benson Scott – Former holder for UT Vols, Phillip Fulmer – Former football coach for UT Vols, Bruce Pearl – Former head coach for University of Tennessee men’s basketball, Cuonzo Martin – Retired NBA player and current head coach for UT men’s basketball, Bob Kesling – The Voice of the Vols, Murry Bartow – Head coach for ETSU men’s basketball, Carroll Dale – Former wide receiver for Virginia Tech, Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers, Frank Beamer – Head football coach for Virginia Tech, Skip Brown – Former Dobyns-Bennett and Wake Forest University basketball standout, Jimmy Fortune – Songwriter and former member of the Statler Brothers.

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