This article appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Texoma Living!.
Leadership and inspiration are what make the annual NFL Alumni Charity Golf Classic stand out in the North Texas area, and the board directing tournament activities credits those attributes to Tournament Director and Board President Jimmy Jack Beale. One of the things that stand out about Beale in the past six years of the tournament’s existence in Grayson County is Beale’s physical challenges.
Beale has struggled with cancer, constant pain and endured at least a half-dozen surgeries, but he has never stopped pulling and pushing to help in raising funds for children’s charities in the Texoma area.
A Sherman native, Beale grew up inSherman and is a graduate of Sherman High School. He is still in love with his hometown and has been instrumental in bringing national sports celebrities to the area each year for the golf tournament that, just this year, was changed to bear his name. When board members gathered in the summer to distribute $156,000 raised in the 2007 tournament, Board Treasurer Mike DeLong announced the tournament name change. It is now the “Donny Anderson-Jimmy Jack Beale NFL Alumni Charity Golf Classic.” “It’s a long name, I know, but it honors the two who’ve helped us develop this event,” DeLong said.
Anderson, football standout at Texas Tech University who went on to play for the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals, has also been an integral part of attracting sports celebrities for the three-day event. His foundation Winners For Life benefits from the tournament as does the Sherman Boys and Girls Club for which DeLong serves as executive director. Because of the funds raised for WFL, Anderson has come back each year to Grayson County in the spring to provide 15 to 20 academic scholarships for area graduating seniors.
“People don’t really see all that Jimmy Jack does for the children of this area,” DeLong said. Beale has been an important contributor and supporter as a board member of Sherman’s Boys and Girls Club, so DeLong has witnessed Beale’s generosity with time and money over a span of several years. He said he continues to marvel at Beale’s steadfastness, especially with the painful struggles he has had to undergo.
This year’s tournament will be May 2-3 at Tanglewood. It will see sports legends like Dick Anderson, Cliff Richey, Leonard “Truck” Robinson, Billy Joe Tolliver and “Stormin” Norman Thomas to name just a few.
Beale does not always get to play in the tournament, but one thing is for sure. Come rain or shine, pain or not, he will be there greeting people and making sure they get in the right place for the shotgun tee off.
He is often heard to say, “It’s for the kids.” We will never be able to understand the extent of Beale’s sacrifice, the pain he endures nor the effort he must put forth just to put one foot in front of the other. One thing seems sure, though; he will be there, “for the kids.”
Learn more and register to play with the NFL Alumni starts at www. nflalumnitexoma.org