The 9th Annual “Swing to Cure” Diabetes Golf Outing to benefit the University of Michigan Diabetes program and JDRF – Metro Detroit/Michigan Chapter will take place on Monday, May 22 at the University of Michigan Golf Course. Varnum is a primary sponsor of the event, founded by Varnum partner and former U-M football player Rich Hewlett and his family.
To date, the golf outing has raised over $600,000 for Type 1 diabetes research. As a former player for Michigan, Hewlett draws on support from current and former coaches and teammates to bring star power to the charity event. In the past, current Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has attended the event and former Coach Brady Hoke before him. Former coaches Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr are regulars at the event each year, as are many of Hewlett’s former teammates.
“This event means a lot to me and my family, not only because of the money we’re raising for research, but every year, to see the support from my friends, family and teammates is humbling and gratifying,” Hewlett said. “It is a special day to me and my family.”
Golfing at the event is limited to about 36 foursomes and the event usually sells out fast. Support in the form of sponsorships or donations are also available. Non golfers may also take part in just the dinner event only which includes a short program and live and silent auction.
This year’s event will be one of the first to use the new U-M Golf Course Clubhouse, which was under construction during last year’s event. The three-level clubhouse features dynamic glass and brick similar to the Michigan Stadium across the street. The new clubhouse is 24,000 square feet (about 25 percent larger than the former facility) and includes banquet facilities on the second level.
The Hewlett family has been involved in raising money and awareness for juvenile diabetes research since oldest son, Jeff, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age four. Jeff, who graduated from Michigan last year, will serve as host of the event. Younger brother, Joe, who is a junior Michigan and a member of the football team, will also be on hand.
“It’s a labor of love for my family,” Hewlett said. “We love to do it. The three of us right now, we’re kind of carrying the ball to continue this event and continue to try to help young people with this disease.”
Varnum Law and the Hewlett Family are the lead sponsors of this year’s event. The outing includes 18 holes of golf, a boxed lunch on the course, dinner following golf, a live and silent auction, and photo opportunities with University of Michigan football celebrities. For more information about how to play, sponsor or register, visit www.swingtocurediabetes.com.
Rich Hewlett is a partner in Varnum’s trial law group, where he focuses on business litigation, construction law and construction litigation. He was recently honored by Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly as a Leader in the Law. Hewlett has served on Board of Directors of JDRF Metro Detroit/Southeast Michigan Chapter for several years, currently as president-elect.