Tag Archives: Golf

Michael Wilbon Golf Tournament

Former Congressman Marty Russo joins NFL greats at the Michael Wilbon Golf Tournament.

It was a pleasure to meet many great athletes of the National Football League and join in this effort for a good cause.  The tournament was played for the benefit of the District of Columbia College Access Program .  DC-CAP is a non-profit organization that provides counseling and financial assistance to students who might otherwise never have the opportunity to attend or graduate from college.

Michael Wilbon Golf Tournament

Former Congressman Marty Russo joins the NFL greats at the Michael Wilbon Charity Golf Tournament.

Putting Lesson with President George H. W. Bush

President George H. W. Bush recently celebrated his 90th birthday by jumping out of an airplane.  Former Congressman Marty Russo reminiscences about some fun times they had in the sports arena.

Seeing the Politico article about President George H. W. Bush skydiving on his 90th birthday  reminds me of what a great competitor he has always been.

Putting Lesson with VP George HW Bush and Congressman Marty Russo on Air Force Two

Putting Lesson with VP George HW Bush and Congressman Marty Russo on Air Force Two

Some of my fondest personal memories in Congress were those days when I served as the regular paddle ball partner for President George H. W. Bush.  We played as a team in the House paddle ball courts for all eight years he was Vice President and continued for the four years of his presidency.  I can tell you that he always played to win.

This reminds me of a photo taken by the official White House photographer in 1984 when I was flying on Air Force Two.  The Vice President and I were relaxing and next thing I know, the VP asked me to give him a putting lesson in the aisle of the airplane.  He was always looking to gain a competitive edge and took any opportunity to hone his game.

This scene was memorialized a couple years ago in a USA Today article titled, Golf, Politics and Presidents Prove To Be Range Bedfellows, by Steve DiMeglio.  It’s a great story of how presidents and golf intersect and ends with a quote from a good friend of mine, Republican Senator Mike Oxley.  In the article Senator Oxley is talking about how sports enabled a lot of bi-partisanship in the Congress:

 At the very least, golf provides memories. One of Oxley’s favorites occurred on Air Force Two, when he was traveling with then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and Democrat Marty Russo, one of the best golfers ever to be a member of Congress.

“The VP was moaning and groaning about his putting. So one of the Secret Service guys went down into the hole and got his putter,” Oxley says. “There we were on the plane and he’s getting a putting lesson from Russo.

“It was a great moment of bipartisanship.”

Fiesta de Golf Scholarship Challenge

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Education is a key to creating innovative leadership that then can drive the development of better products and services as we compete globally.

I had a great time on May 2 playing a round of golf on the East Course at Andrews Air Force Base to raise money for a wonderful organization, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. The Fiesta de Golf Scholarship Challenge supports CHCI’s scholarship program to increase opportunities for Latino youth to attend and complete higher education.

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Thanks to my talented teammates, we took the top prize at the tournament with a low team score of 55 in a scramble format. I can’t take the credit for our score as there was some fabulous play by my colleagues.

Laura Linderman of T-Mobile had a thunderous drive on the 11th hole to win the Women’s Long Drive Contest. In addition, Linda made 3 spectacular putts for birdie from 25 feet, 28 feet and 35 feet.

Tony Russo, also of T-Mobile, was so consistent in hitting long drives off the tee that he was the anchor to our success.

And my good friend Manny Ortiz of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, known more as a fabulous tennis player, held his own in this competitive group. In fact, we were so enthusiastic that on the 7th hole, Manny led the rally by landing a shot only 12 feet from the hole. Never one to be bested, I hit my shot only 6 feet from the hole. But my son Tony had us all beat — his ball landed only 2 feet from the hole. And Laura sank the birdie putt.

That’s what I call real teamwork!

We felt even better when our prize winnings – four round trip tickets anywhere in the US which had been donated by Southwest Airlines – was given back to be used in an on-the-spot auction. What a generous group of golfers – the tickets were purchased for $1,300 to add to the proceeds for student scholarships.

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The CHCI’s Scholarship Program is very impressive. Since 2001, they have invested nearly $3.3 million in the Latino community, awarding approximately $2.9 million in scholarships to over 1,000 students and distributing $400,000 worth of in-kind computers and software to community college and first year undergraduate scholarship recipients.

I believe strongly in the value of education to building a strong future for our country. Education is a key to creating innovative leadership that then can drive the development of better products and services as we compete globally.

It was fun to see friends, play golf and do a small part toward helping Latino students succeed.