Jeter captains Turn 2 Foundation event
Celebs turn out for Derek Jeter Celebrity Golf Classic kickoff
Doug Miller / MLB.com
Derek Jeter isn't just the captain of the New York Yankees. The immensely popular All-Star shortstop has long been the captain of his Turn 2 Foundation charity, and last Saturday night he was the captain on the Yacht StarShip in Tampa, Fla., as he hosted the launch party for the fifth annual Derek Jeter Celebrity Golf Classic.
MLB.com/Entertainment was aboard for the festivities, which featured music from John Legend and a host of celebrities, including actor Morgan Freeman, taking in some relaxation before teeing it up at Avila Country Club two days later. And even though it was raining a little outside, the good work of Jeter's foundation didn't dampen any spirits.
"We started this foundation as a small family foundation," said Jeter, who founded Turn 2 in 1996 and whose sister, Sharlee, was on the boat with him.
"We felt as though we could help a lot of people out, but we never knew it would grow to this length. Just looking over the years at how we've gotten more and more people to come out, with all the celebrities and sponsors, I said earlier I like seeing the same faces come, because then it shows you that you're doing something right."
Jeter's foundation has done more than something right, awarding over $8 million in grants over the last 11 years to promote healthy lifestyles among young people and enable them to "turn to" his Foundation for guidance and the much needed help to avoid drugs and alcohol.
On Saturday night, guests were treated to a soundtrack courtesy of Jeter family friend DJ Premier and, of course, a short set by Legend, whom Jeter was very proud to have in attendance.
"It's kind of amazing all the support we've gotten throughout the years, and now we have arguably one of the most talented musicians in the world out here to help out the foundation and give his time for a few days," Jeter said.
Legend said he wouldn't have missed such a special and important event.
"I'm happy to participate," he said. "I think Derek's doing a great thing working with the kids in the city, giving them something constructive to do, and I'm proud to be a part of this."
So was Freeman, who said, "This is a big fund-raiser for children, so I think we should always respond to requests for help from our children."
Jeter said that since the golf tournament sells out quickly, the boat party -- and a silent auction slated for Sunday -- were good chances for other people to give their support to the foundation. And the great thing, he said, is that if you couldn't make it this year, there's always next year.
"Most of the people that we've asked to come out and help out, they've been more than willing," Jeter said. "And the people that haven't been able to make it, they always say, 'Well, invite me next year.'
"And that's why every year, it seems like we have a new crop of guys and women as well, and sometimes they miss a year but they come back. It's been pretty overwhelming."
Teens discussed promoting social change and healthy lifestyles at the 2011 Jeter's Leaders Leadership Conference. More »
Kids are encouraged and learn the game at the Turn 2 Foundation's 2012 Tampa Baseball Clinic at Port Tampa Community Center. More »