RICHLAND - Olie Kolzig's U.S. Bank team was in the middle of the pack after Sunday's first round of Olie and Stu's Desert Bash at Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland.
And the former Washington Capitals goaltender wasn't giving himself any credit for the success.
"My team played pretty well, but I didn't play all that well," said Kolzig, who along with former Tri-City Americans teammate Stu Barnes played host to the 10th annual Bash. "I think the best shot I had was my first drive. Other than that, today is another day."
In the end, it didn't matter what Kolzig's score was -- or anyone else's, for that matter. The two-day event raised money for the Carson Kolzig Foundation, whose primary services are delivered through the Responding to Autism Center in Kennewick. The center has helped more than 900 families in the past year.
"The center has been doing tremendous work," Barnes said. "Just hearing that number and how many people's lives are impacted by the center is a wonderful thing. It's amazing what the girls do getting (the tournament) ready. Olie and (wife) Christin are still pretty involved, but for me, I don't do too much. Everyone that we've pursued and who wanted to be a part of it, are really good people."
Sunday night's auction brought in approximately $155,000. When that was added to $130,000 in sponsor fees and another $4,000 in raffles and donations, the event raised about $289,000.
In 10 years, the event has raised more than $1.2 million.
"We feel pretty blessed with how many nonprofits there are in the area," said Kellee Balcom, executive director of the Carson Kolzig Foundation. "This is very humbling. We had two parents come in and talk to the group (at the auction) about the impact the center has had on their families. There were a lot of teary eyes. It's a tremendously powerful event all the way around."
Kimo von Oelhoffen, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman participating in his first Bash, said he was having a good time.
"It's awesome what they do," said von Oelhoffen, who has an autistic nephew. "Not just the cause, but the people who are involved. This is the first year I've been able to attend. I've either been in training camp or coaching in training camp. They have wonderful celebrities coming out. I'm kind of lost, asking, 'Who's this? Who's that?' I've read how (the tournament) has grown. I hope they continue so I can come back out and play."
Kolzig said he was pleased von Oelhoffen and former major league pitcher Jeremy Bonderman could join the Bash this year.
"I think they have really enjoyed themselves," Kolzig said. "The tournament has been around for a while, but they've never been available, being in the middle of the major league baseball season or NFL training camp. For them to come out and see what's it's all about and to have them here is fantastic for both parties."
Former Seattle Seahawk Alonzo Mitz was playing in his fourth Bash.
"This is phenomenal," said Mitz, who donated a Jimi Hendrix gift basket for the auction. "Every year, it's a lot of fun."
Mitz wasn't sure who some of his fellow celebrities were, but he was able to pick former Washington Redskin Clint Didier out of the pack.
"Like us, they wear facemasks," Mitz said of the hockey players. "It's hard to know what they look like."
Bank of the West, with celebrity Kevin Tucker, won the Carson Kolzig Foundation Flight with a 224, one stroke better than Ricky Churchman's CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. Tucker, a Kennewick native who plays on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, would have been a ringer for any team.
In the Responding to Autism Flight, the Broadmoor/Hansen Park Fitness team, sans a celebrity, finished with a 241, one stroke better than Darrall Imhoff's Dade Moeller team and von Oelhoffen's Odom Corporation team.
* Annie Fowler: 509-582-1574; email@example.com