Bringing New Stars & Events to the Coachella Valley this March. A 5k Walk/Run is the Latest Addition to “St. Jude Week” in the Desert

By Andrea Hanson Carter

The 5th Annual Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament will return to the Coachella Valley shining with stars, songwriters, rock legends and golf March 5-8, 2015. In its 5th year, the event has grown to become “St. Jude Week” in the desert, kicking off with a 5k Walk/Run on March 1st – all to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. The tournament and its events will be held at JW Marriott Desert Springs and Classic Club in Palm Desert.

Tournament host, actor Patrick Warburton, perhaps best known for playing Puddy on Seinfeld as well as the star of the syndicated sitcom Rules of Engagement, the voice of Joe on Family Guy and numerous movie roles in movies like Ted, The Tick, Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove and Planes: Fire & Rescue, and DreamWorks’ Mr. Peabody & Sherman, brings together many of his celebrity friends to highlight a star-studded weekend in the desert raising much-needed funds for kids fighting cancer.

More than 60 celebrities are planning to spend the weekend in the Palm Springs area to enjoy a rock legends jam session, songwriter’s night, golf and a Saturday Soiree featuring dinner and music by Sixwire & Friends (unannounced celebrities who will join Sixwire for a few numbers).


While St. Jude is located in Memphis, the hospital’s research and treatments help kids worldwide including children from right here in the Coachella Valley. The tournament brought in $881,000 in 2014, and has the goal of raising $1 million this year. The hospital costs $2 million per day to open its doors, so every dollar counts. It is devoted to children with cancer, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care.

“St. Jude Week” in the desert will kick off with an all new 5k Run/Walk this year, to be held Sunday, March 1st at the Classic Club. Registration is at 8:00am and the Run/Walk will begin at 9:00am. The 5k will feature refreshments, live music and the winner will receive 2 tickets to the Friday Night Jam Session. Other medals and prizes will be presented, as well. Registration is $50 and a family registration package is available for $100 – which includes participation by 2 adults and 2 children.

The weekend festivities start with the Thursday evening “Songwriters’ Night: The Story Behind the Story” – which will be held at the JW Marriott Desert Springs, Thursday, March 5th at 7:00pm. This will be an evening with a group of renowned Nashville songwriters telling the stories behind their biggest hits, along with performing those hits. Songwriters scheduled to appear include Tim Nichols, who penned Tim McGraw’s iconic #1 hit, “Live Like You Were Dying” and Jo Dee Messina’s “Heads Carolina, Tails California”; Rivers Rutherford, who had the song of the year in 2001 with Brooks and Dunn’s “Ain’t Nothing About You” and Gretchen Wilson’s “Homewrecker”; Bob DiPierro, who had huge #1 hits with “American Made” performed by the Oak Ridge Boys, “Little Rock” performed by Reba McEntire and “Southern Voice” performed by Tim McGraw; and Kelley Lovelace, who wrote the smash hit “All-American Girl” performed by Carrie Underwood as well as huge Brad Paisley hits like “Ticks,” “I’m Still a Guy” and “Camouflage.” The event will be hosted by HLN morning news anchor, Robin Meade. Tickets are $100.

Friday night’s Celebrity Jam Session, which will be held at 8:00pm at the JW Marriott, has received rave reviews by attendees in years past, gathering rock-and-roll legends to jam together for an unforgettable night of fun – all for charity. Scheduled to perform this year are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Alice Cooper, Don Felder (The Eagles), Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MG’s and the Blues Brothers) and Mike Mills (R.E.M.). Also participating will be Mickey Thomas (Starship), John Elefante (Kansas), Kim Carnes, Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra), Dave Brock (The Doors/Wild Child) and more are still being confirmed. Celebrities not necessarily known for their music, but who also happen to be very talented singers and will perform at the jam session include HLN’s host of “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” Robin Meade, and actor Rob Morrow. Celebrity Jam Session tickets can be purchased for $125.

“This tournament is so extraordinary because of the way it incorporates musicians,” said Clarke Rheney, tournament chairman. “Most celebrity golf tournaments focus on athletes and actors, but we really wanted to do something different. We have rock and roll legends and hall-of-famers who come out to this event to share their music and do their part to raise money and awareness for the kids of St. Jude.”

Other commitments for celebrities who are scheduled to appear at the golf tournament include actors Richard Kind, Danny Masterson, Michael Pena, Bruce McGill, Kevin Sorbo, Luke Perry, Sam McMurray, Kurt Fuller, William Devane, Galen Gering, Scott Wolf, Joel Gretsch, Oliver Hudson, Bruce Thomas, Pauley Trickey, Bill Smitrovich and Brian Thompson; and athletes like former NFL pros, Robbie Gould, Sterling Sharpe, Kordell Stewart and Eric Dickerson; and NHL Hall of Famer, Grant Fuhr. Golf tournament entries are $2,500 per player.

On Saturday evening, a Saturday Soiree will feature red carpet appearances by many of the celebrities involved with the tournament, as well as a dinner and dancing to music by the band, Sixwire & Friends, the featured band on the television show, Nashville. Tickets for the Saturday Soiree are $250.

The event’s presenting sponsor is Spinal Elements, with additional sponsors as follows: the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation; Shakti Warriors; Precise Corporate Staging; Classic Club; Sixwire; News Channel 3; CBS Local 2; Castelli’s Ristorante; and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Presenting sponsor for the the 5k Walk/Run is Hightower, and other sponsors include Classic Club; Hyde’s Heating & Air Conditioning; West Coast Turf; News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2.

The Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament is the second highest grossing golf tournament for St. Jude nationwide, second only to the tournament sponsored by The Trump Foundation in New York.

For more information or to purchase tickets to any of the shows or register for the golf tournament, go to