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Home > Golfers Participate in Sports-Themed Tournament Under “Ballou” Skies

Golfers Participate in Sports-Themed Tournament Under “Ballou” Skies

by | Jun 2, 2017

In April, golf enthusiasts gathered for an afternoon round in support of the fight against ALS. More than 130 golfers participated in the 3rd Annual Under Ballou Skies Golf Classic followed by a dinner reception and silent auction.

The golf classic began in 2015 after an ALS Texas board meeting in which members were asked what they enjoyed doing that could become a fundraiser. Board member Bob Ballou thought to himself that he enjoyed golf and that he likes to get his friends together to play. Thus, the tournament began. When Bob saw that no income was budgeted for the first tournament in 2015, and he threw down a dollar and said “Look, we’ve already beat the budget!” He was determined to start the tournament off right, raising significant funds for the fight against ALS. That year, the tournament raised $15,000.

Bob first got involved with the ALS Association when he began serving as the emcee for Chapter events in Austin. He became a board member because despite feeling like emceeing events was a great way to help out, he wanted to be more actively involved with people who have ALS.

“While I still work with other organizations, the ALS Association is the one to which I’ve dedicated the majority of my time, because of the great need people with ALS have and because of the great work the ALS Association does to fulfill those needs,” Bob said.  “When you see the suffering that families and patients go through, it just makes you want to do everything you can to make their lives easier – and find a cure for this disease.”

Leading the planning and fundraising for the tournament, Bob has aimed to double the amount raised each year. In 2016, the tournament raised $32,000 and this year’s event brought in $64,000 for the fight against ALS.

ALS Texas board member and person with ALS Ernie Worth was honored at the event. Jen Lewis made a $5,000 donation in memory of her father who passed from PLS, and at the reception, she presented it to Ernie who accepted it on behalf of the Texas Chapter. Jen’s father taught her how to golf.

The event not only included a round of golf, but attendees also participated in hole contests, including golf pong, a basketball shooting contest, and a pitching challenge. Bob also did the Ice Bucket Challenge at a hole, and Cityscape Property Group hosted Fireball shots on hole three.

After the golfing and contests, participants enjoyed a dinner donated by Blackfinn Ameripub, as well as drinks from Deep Ellum Brewery and Oak Ridge Winery. The silent auction included a Yeti 45 Tundra with eight other Yeti products inside, John Mayer and Train concert tickets, and other sports memorabilia.

“This golf classic is truly unique, incorporating Bob’s love of a variety of sports with his love of golf,” said Michelle Thiebaut, Sr. Regional Development Mgr., ALS Texas. “His inspiring passion for fighting ALS really showed throughout the entire day.”

A special thanks to the tournament planning committee, including Bob Ballou, David and Barbara Gaume, Jen Lewis, Matthew McDowell, Courtney Billingsley, and Zenda Bennett.

Thank you to our sponsors: Cobb Mechanical, VOX Integrations, Travis Medical, Super Shuttle/Executive Car in Austin, Bluewave Security, CBS Austin, Cityscape Property Group, Talley Real Estate, Judy Noerr and Philip Byrne, Allstate – Dietz & Associates, and Harry and Cheryl Ballou.

Interested in participating in the 2018 Golf Classic? Check out for updates on next year’s event.

Are you interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact Michelle at

Click here to view photos from the event.

How ALS Patients Can Help

Once you’ve been diagnosed with ALS, it’s easy to feel like you just don’t have many options, but there are ways you can make a difference.

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We all have a part to play in the fight against ALS! Your generous support funds critical research for better treatments and a cure for this disease. Here are a few ways you can help: