What began as a simple golf tournament and fish fry, the Roger Maris Celebrity Benefit Golf Tournament has developed into one of the significant annual social events of the Red River Valley, and the 34th annual tournament is scheduled for June 25-26, in Fargo ND with three rounds of golf at Rose Creek and a social/auction.

The upcoming Maris Tournament will return to its traditional home at Edgewood golf course this summer with flights scheduled for Sunday morning, Monday morning and Monday afternoon. Last year more than 500 golfers joined the tourney field and another capacity crowd is expected this summer.

The Celebration of Friendship social and auction will be on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Delta by Marriot Hotel (formerly Ramada Plaza in Fargo). The silent and live auction, beginning at 7, is free and open to the public with appetizers and a cash bar.

The tournament has raised over two million dollars in its 33-year history for beneficiaries Fargo Shanley High School, Hospice of the Red River Valley and the Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center.

The first tournament was a reunion of old pals and baseball legends, mostly with a distinct New York Yankee pedigree. Former Yanks Whitey Ford, Ken Hunt, Mickey Mantle and Moose Skowron joined Roger Maris and ex-Minnesota Twin Bob Allison for a tournament to raise funds for Maris’ beloved alma mater, Shanley High School.

The tournament has attracted some of the biggest names in baseball, including Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Feller, Rollie Fingers, Whitey Ford, Harmon  Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Phil Niekro, Enos “Country” Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Warren Spahn and Brooks Robinson.

Several member of the National Football League Hall of Fame have participated as well, including Dave Casper, John Henry Johnson, Jim Langer, Leo Nomellini and Jim Taylor. Entertainers Roy Clark, Jimmy Dean, Michael Finney, Janie Fricke and John Michael Montgomery, broadcaster Bob Costas, coaching legend Bobby Knight, NBA superstar Rick Barry, comedians Billy Crystal, Frank Caliendo and Woody Woodbury and actors Thomas Jayne, Donnie Most and Barry Pepper.

MARIS MEMOS. . . There are limited golf openings left, especially for Monday morning. . . . Mark is Walker is chairperson of the Roger Maris Celebrity Benefit Golf Tournament. . . For additional tournament information contact Harley Danielson (701-235-8143) or Larry Scott (701-866-7413).