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The Maurice Lucas Foundation supports local youth academics, athletics programs

COURTESY PHOTO: KRIS CAVIN - The winning team of (left to right) Kasey Closs, Jason Daily, Justin Smithhiesler and Robbie Ziegler from Mass Mutual pose with their trophies at the 16th annual Celebrity Golf Invitational.Pack up the clubs, tee up and yell for(e) a good cause.

The Maurice Lucas Foundation raised almost $100,000 for charity at its 16th annual Celebrity Golf Invitational tournament July 25 in Aloha. Proceeds will support academic and athletic programs the foundation provides for underserved middle school students in the Portland area.

A stacked field of 150 golfers stormed the grounds and included a variety of stars, such as 18 former members of the 1977 NBA champion Trail Blazers team. Among friendly competing teams was the winning group from Mass Mutual, including Kasey Closs, Jason Daily, Justin Smithhisler and Robbie Ziegler.

The winning team will receive a free trip to Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina while competing in the Mercedes Benz national golf tournament this October.

The popular event was sponsored by First Republic Bank, Mercedes Benz of Portland and Mercedes Benz of Beaverton. It was held at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.

The annual Celebrity Golf Invitational remains one of the nonprofit foundation's major sources of funds, benefitting Portland's youth and athletic programs. This competitive, feel-good event continues a tradition stared by Maurice Lucas, the leading scorer of the 1977 NBA champion Trail Blazers team.

Lucas was known as selfless beyond the court to teammates, as he spent much of his free time giving back to Portland's youth. Since the formation of the foundation — named in Lucas's honor — more than 400 students have successfully completed its academies and hundreds of others have participated in its sports programs, according to a recent press release.

The foundation's ninth annual Celebration Dinner and After Party will be held Sept. 7 at the Portland Hilton. Tickets and additional information can be found at

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