ST. LOUIS — There isn't a day that goes by where Alexis Strauss doesn't miss or remember her dad, the late Joe Strauss.
To most of the St. Louis, and National baseball, audience, he was a ruthless voice on local sports, someone who called it like he saw it. There was no other way.
To Alexis, he was just dad, a guiding light. One of their greatest bonding moments came when Joe showed her the game of golf. For the elder Strauss, it wasn't just a fun activity to do with his kid, but a two-for-one ordeal that carries some weight today.
"He joked I couldn’t date boys until I knew how to play golf and poker well, and taught me when I was 8 years old," Alexis said. "Now, I think every guy I have dated has been embarrassed that I can beat them in a game of golf, so maybe my dad only said that to me for his pure entertainment."
It was an easy decision for Alexis when deciding on something that could both honor her dad and spread awareness for leukemia, the disease that has cut his life and so many others painfully short. Last August, the 1st Annual Joe Strauss Memorial Golf Tournament was born.
The tournament, which was aided by local sports radio voice, Tim McKernan, and his loyal The Morning After audience, was a "major success" according to Strauss.
She aims to keep the momentum going with this year's 2nd Annual Joe Strauss Memorial Golf Tournament, which is being held at Westborough Country Club on Aug. 12. With a little over a month to go before the opening round begins, there are still plenty of spots available.
Think of it as a round of golf for a wonderful cause. Kicking cancer's butt and sinking the big putt at the same time. For Strauss, it's a way to remember her dad and help out an incredible organization. "I wanted to do this tournament not only to honor my dad, but to raise money for Siteman Cancer Center, where he was treated when he underwent treatment for his leukemia. The nurses and doctors are all the best of the best there and deserve the recognition and donations we can give them through this event," Strauss said.
Siteman Cancer Center treats up to 50,000 patients a year according to their website, and that includes 12,000 newly diagnosed patients. Hard-working magicians of the medical board need all the help they can get. Instead of merely writing a check, pick up a bag of clubs instead.
This isn't a normal 18 holes of golf on a hot St. Louis day, folks. After you finish up, there will be food and entertainment provided, and I am talking first class.
Salt N' Smoke, the famed local barbecue restaurant, will cater the event. That should you get signed up right there. There will be beverages on the course delivered by Anheuser Busch. A cocktail reception will follow, with the speaker being none other than John Mozeliak, St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations.
This is where participants can put on the journo hat and fire zingers of the hottest variety at Mozeliak, who is used to the heat of the late Strauss' blunt questioning. It shows the first class treatment of an organization that has never blinked when there is a chance to honor one of their own.
For Strauss, this is still a whirlwind experience. "Never would I have imagined at soon to be 22 years old I would have put on these events, let alone lost my dad to cancer," Strauss said. "If I can help make a difference in someone else’s life for the better and help raise awareness for leukemia and lymphoma, then I think I would’ve made may dad proud."
So, what are you waiting for? Let's go over the key notes while I order my burnt end ravioli from Salt N' Smoke up the street. Good people, great cause, delicious food, and a Cardinal front office executive to get some inside info from at the end with a cocktail in your hand. This is a win-win-win situation.
It's been my lucky experience to get to know Alexis more than I ever had the chance to do with Joe. From a distance, he was the epitome of an old school journalist. What we all want to be in the end. Abrasive for all the right reasons.
Up close, his daughter has that inner strength in spades, and never fails to put it on display when you are around her. You can see she is highly motivated and passionate about honoring her dad. Playing golf is the perfect way to go to bat for Joe. He still pushes her to this dad to do right.
"My dad is my motivation for anything I do in life. He pushed me harder than anyone else I have ever met, and to this day I still have his voice in my head pushing me to get through all the obstacles I encounter in life, so everything I do is for him," Strauss said.
On Aug. 12, a group of people will get together and play a round of golf for Joe Strauss. A leisure activity meant for the summer wind carries extra weight on that day. It's a way to remember the past while giving extra hope to the future.
Here's more information and the quickest the way to sign up.
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