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Sports stars turn out for Niswonger Tournament

The stars were out in full force Monday morning, as the Mountain States Foundation Golf Classic kicked off at The Ridges Golf Course and Country Club in Jonesborough.
NFL greats Peyton Manning and Jason Witten were among the celebrities to take part in the tournament. Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, returned to the tournament for the second year.
Witten, who plays for the Dallas Cowboys, joined in the fun after first hosting a football camp in nearby Elizabethton last week.
Also in attendance were University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer and UT men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl as well as professional golfer Corey Pavin.
The tournament is a part of a fundraiser to bring in money for Niswonger Children’s Hospital and its growing list of medical needs.
A silent auction held as a part of the fundraiser brought in $100,000 alone thanks to some of the celebrities, who contributed donations that included top-of-the-line tickets to upcoming NFL games.
“This has been one of our best (fundraiser events) ever,” said Patty Bolton, event director. “We’ll topple the $200,000 mark when all is said and done.”
Bolton said all the spots in the golf tournament were filled and children who live in The Ridges were excitedly standing along the course as Manning and others made their way through the course.
“The celebrities are being great,” Bolton said. “They are signing footballs and being greeted by a lot of the (neighborhood) children.”
The field was limited to 112 golfers, all of whom paid to play alongside the celebrities.
For more photos from the event, visit the Photo Gallery at