LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – This is the 29th year for the Kelley-Perles-Secchia golf outing to benefit Special Olympics.
Former MSU football coach George Perles, along with former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley and Peter Secchia, have put their heart and soul and money into this event.
Mark Dantonio among the celebrities who showed up to lend his support today.
All the bells and whistles go into this event every August with thousands of dollars being raised for Area 8 Special Olympics, even bagpipes and the whole 9 yards.
This all started back when Perles was coaching and his assistant Norm Parker had a son with an issue. Perles and Frank Kelley picked up the story today from there. “George had one of his coaches sons was a Downs Syndrome boy,” recalls Kelley. “George was sympathetic to that situation and one thing led to another and he got a hold of Peter Secchia and I and said let’s have a nice big group together for Special Olympics and that’s how it started”.
“When I got done coaching I knew it would probably fall apart,” says Perles. “So I went out and got the top Democrat, Frank Kelley and the top Republican, Peter Secchia in my opinion, and asked them to lay down the armor and do one thing: pull together for Special Olympics which they did, which the White House should get a lesson from if they pull together like we have.”
This annually attracts a whole bunch of celebrities. Today former Tiger and Spartan two-sport star Kirk Gibson was on hand. He was there with his brother-in-law and old Tiger teammate Dave Rozema from the 1984 Tiger World Series championship team.
Gibson and Rozie are still close and always a hoot to chat with, as I’m sure you’ll agree:
Do you remember when you first met him? A: Oh yea…I was just thinking about it over there…got together in one of my first spring trainings and Ron LeFlore’s room—he wanted to slap box me…
….Turned into a boxing match…ha ha… Q: you…do you remember that? A: Well yea…It wasn’t funny but he was….my nose doesn’t still feel the same…ha ha ha. Q: He beat you huh? A: Well….I got him a couple of quick Rocky Marciano’s but…then he whacked me with a Michigan State punch. I told him I said don’t….I don’t play that game — but he did it and I just kind of snapped you know….you know the thing is I came back out of playing football….football they’re teaching you how to dominate people….then you’re suppose to walk on the street and be a nice guy and I had a hard time separating that for awhile but now we’re okay. Q: He’s just an old softie now huh? A: He’s that nice guy stuff…I took that punch — I took his best shot–ah…it was like a mosquito bite.