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The TV reality series “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” this Sunday will feature an episode taped at the 2010 Pacific University Legends Golf Classic held to benefit the Pacific University (Oregon) athletics department.
The golf fundraiser was hosted by Tommy Thayer in August and featured Simmons as a star attraction. Thayer, the lead guitarist for legendary rock band KISS and member of Pacific’s board of trustees, persuaded band-mate and KISS co-founder Gene Simmons to participate in the auction-concert-golf fundraiser that benefits the university’s intercollegiate student-athletes (check out the trailer at http://www.vimeo.com/17566074).
Thayer, a Beaverton native and university trustee, hosted the fourth annual Golf Classic in August that grossed more than $425,000 to benefit the Division III school’s 21-sport athletics program. More than 400 people attended a dinner, auction and concert, and 185 more participated in the golf tournament.
Thayer became a trustee when his father, Army Gen. Jim Thayer (who knew then-Pacific President Phil Creighton), was asked in 2003 to serve on the board. Because of the general’s other commitments, he suggested his son, who was seeking to give back to the community in which he grew up (Pacific is the only four-year university in Washington County, where Beaverton is located).
That’s how the golf tournament began.
The episode of “Family Jewels” that will air this Sunday was filmed at the golf fundraiser and features Simmons’ first-ever attempt at playing golf. The broadcast is at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (PST) for satellite dish subscribers (DirecTV, Dish Network), or 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. (PST) for cable subscribers (Comcast, Time Warner, Charter).
Appearances include Thayer, Simmons’ partner Shannon Tweed, KISS manager Doc McGhee, as well as Pacific University alumni, parents and friends in attendance.
The opportunity to play golf with Simmons and McGhee raised $30,000 at the live auction. Playing with Thayer fetched $10,000. A field of 23 celebrities from the sports and music worlds participated in the tournament, including sportscaster and news correspondent Lisa Guerrero and former Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti.