Barrow Neurological Institute’s Dr. Robert Spetzler received this year’s Healthcare Leadership Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. (Photo courtesy of Barrow Neurological Institute)
Lou Grubb tournament raises $600K for St. Joseph’s and Barrow
Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf & Gala achieved the trifecta of charitable events—attracting hundreds of partygoers to honor two great Arizona legends, while raising thousands of dollars to support the hospital that brought the two together.
Recognized as one of the longest-running and most treasured charitable golf events in the Valley, the 44th Annual Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf & Gala successfully generated more than $600,000 to support patient care, medical education and research at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Barrow Neurological Institute.
The two-day event kicked off in traditional grand style at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, beginning with cocktails and casino excitement, capped off by a sumptuous dinner and live auction. The evening featured a moving tribute to the event’s namesake, the beloved Lou Grubb, and to Robert Spetzler, MD, who is retiring as President and CEO of Barrow after 34 years of service.
Though their backgrounds were vastly different, the two shared commonalities as pioneers in their careers with a passion for caring for others. Fate brought them together in 1986 when Lou, a respected businessman in the auto industry, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. His family transferred him to St. Joseph’s Hospital to be treated at Barrow, where Dr. Spetzler had just assumed the position of director for his mastery of treating brain and spine disorders.
With Dr. Spetzler’s help, Lou enjoyed 25 more years of life, enjoying family, friends and his favorite game—golf. In gratitude, he designated St. Joseph’s and Barrow to receive all funds raised by the annual tournament he had established in 1975 to support local charities. The millions raised by event over the past three decades have contributed to St. Joseph’s and Barrow’s dramatic ascent in patient care, medical education and research.
This year’s tournament was hosted at the JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club, attracting hundreds of golfers to challenge their skills on two pristine courses. To add to the excitement just before tee-off, Valley traffic reporter Bruce Haffner whirled to the course in his Penguin Air Newschopper for the helicopter ball drop, in which one lucky winner—John Staren—earned a $2,000 cash prize.