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The Dennis Haysbert Humanitarian Foundation’s Celebrity Golf Classic was held at the Lakeside Gold Club on Monday, with fellow actors C.S. Lee (Dexter), James Remar (Dexter) and Richard Kind (Argo) on hand to enjoy the sunshine and work on their golf swings.
“I’ve always wanted to start a foundation,” Haysbert — best known as “the Allstate guy” and for playing president David Palmer on 24 — told The Hollywood Reporter. “I decided that the mission was going to be children in all facets, whether food, water, sustainable solutions or education.”
Fittingly, Allstate served as the event’s title sponsor.
Haysbert — whose favorite pastime is golf — has been involved in charitable tournaments in years prior. However, this is the first tournament to be put on by his own foundation.
Proceeds will go to the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) in Washington, D.C., which aims to bring African-American and American history, particularly artifacts and stories that are not found in textbooks, to children.
Haysbert recently hosted a segment of Civil War 360 for the Smithsonian Channel, which is what brought him into contact with the ACM. In the three-part program, Ashley Judd hosts The Union (premieres Oct. 27, 8 p.m.), Trace Adkins hosts The Confederacy (premieres Nov. 3, 8 p.m.) and Haysbert hosts Fight for Freedom (premieres Nov. 10, 8 p.m.).
Speaking to his experience working on Civil War 360, and to ACM as a whole, Haysbert says: “When I was there, I got to meet a lot of curators and saw a lot of one-of-a-kind artifacts. … I didn’t know what I was going to be presenting or talking about until they rolled the cameras … but I understood what the educational benefits were, especially for children who do not know this history. A lot of Americans don’t know this history, and it’s about time that somebody showed it.”
Lee — who plays Masuka on Showtime’s Dexter (now in its final season) — expressed a similar sentiment.
“Education is important to everyone,” Lee said. “Everyone should have access to education. Those that don’t need a little help, so I’m glad to come out here.”
Kind (whose other credits include Spin City and A Serious Man) felt quite the opposite.
“No, I don’t like education. Therefore, I can be smarter than everyone else,” Kind joked.
Of course the charity golf tournament was about giving, but it’s also about friendly competition. Lee’s biggest competition? Dexter co-star Remar, who plays Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) deceased father on the show.
“We are golfing buddies and our banter goes back and forth,” Lee said.
110 players in total participated in the tournament. Other stars in attendance included David Leisure (Airplane!), Dwight Hicks (Armageddon), Richard Karn (Home Improvement) with cow-print pants in tow, Chi McBride (The Terminal), Debbe Dunning (Home Improvement), Salli Richardson (I Am Legend), Paula Trickey (Pacific Blues), Alfonso Ribeiro (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), among others.
The top prize went to a non-celeb team called The Lakers. Remar’s team followed in second, and his golfing buddy Lee claimed third place.
Competition aside, Haysbert simply hopes the foundation and tournament will attract attention, and continue to raise money in following years.
“It’s the first year for my foundation and it always takes some building when people don’t know who it is or what it’s about, so I’m not expecting a great deal this year,” Haysbert explained. “I’m just expecting a little notoriety, that people do realize that I’m serious and that we’re getting it together. Eventually I hope they’ll fly people in and get all kinds of sponsors because this is something that’s really close to my heart.”
In the end, the tournament raised $40,200. $25,000 of that came from Haysbert’s personal donation from his foundation, and $15,200 came from the auction. Hole in one.
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