|Gary Carter at the 2011 Honda Classic Pro Am.|
Thursday's opening round at the 2012 Honda Classic, February 27 to March 4 at PGA National Resort & Spa, will be named Gary Carter Day in honor of the baseball legend who passed away from inoperable brain tumors February 16.
Carter, who lived in Palm Beach Gardens for three decades, will be memorialized during a special ceremony on the Michelob Ultra Terrace adjacent to the putting green at 2 p.m. A portion of the ticket proceeds for Gary Carter Day will go to the Gary Carter Foundation, which has raised more than $620,000 primarily to fight juvenile diabetes and create reading programs.
The first 1,000 fans through the gates Thursday will receive Team Carter "The Kid" T-shirts in memory of Carter.
Carter was the baseball coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University since October 2009. He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last May, two months after playing in the Honda Classic Pro Am, and two weeks after finishing his second season coaching PBA Sailfish baseball, which competes in NCAA Division II. Carter made his last public appearance February 2 when he attended his team's season opener at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. His players wore "Team Carter" bracelets with the inscription "Isaiah 40:31," Carter's favorite Bible verse.
"Gary was an icon in Palm Beach County and a regular participant in our Wednesday Pro-Am and celebrity events, so it is appropriate that we honor Gary and his family by recognizing his achievements at The Honda Classic on our Gary Carter Day," said Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly. "Gary and The Honda Classic had a similar day-to-day agenda, to do everything possible to help children in need."
The Honda Classic, Palm Beach County's largest sporting event, awarded $1,266,422 to area children's charities in 2011. For more information or tickets, call 1-866-8HONDA8 (866-846-6328) or visit thehondaclassic.com.