Meyer's national title ring brings $25,000 for charity


Urban Meyer, right, talks with Tom Collett of Florida Radio Network on Wednesday during a reception.

TRACY WILCOX/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 10:57 p.m.

Urban Meyer is getting more and more settled into his job as the Florida head coach. It has been reflected in recruiting, results on the field and now in his golf tournament.

Meyer and his wife, Shelley, went full speed into this year's Urban Meyer Scramble for Kids, bringing celebrity guests and saving an after-dinner surprise for late Wednesday night.

Meyer, who served as auctioneer throughout the night, announced that a lucky dinner guest would win a ring and not just any ring. Meyer's national championship ring.

The auction was won by Gainesville's Chip Webb, who bid $25,000 to get the ring.

"My father was one of the original founders of the Gator Boosters," Webb said. "I've been a Gator booster all of my life. I love Urban Meyer. But it's really about the kids."

But it turned out not to be just one ring. Meyer announced that a second ring would go to Davis and Judi Rembert, who finished second in the bidding but also donated $25,000.

The auction was an energetic ending to a special day for the tournament and for the organizations who benefit from the week of activities — the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Girls Club of Alachua County and Children's Home Society.

"Before they came to town, the most we raised was $130,000. This year we're looking at $250,000," said John Pastore, the tournament chair. That was before Meyer announced that the night had raised $275,000.

It was all part of a renewed commitment for the Meyers now that they are comfortable in the community.

"We finally had some time to think about it," Shelley Meyer said. "And this is our thing. We wanted it to be special."

Among those Meyer brought to the dinner were former Gators Chris Leak and Jemalle Cornelius and most of Florida's assistant coaches. Recruit John Brantley was in attendance along with his father and mother.

Some of the special items that could be bid on or purchased Wednesday night: 41 limited edition Gator Cyma watches with etched Meyer signatures, plaques honoring both the football and basketball national championships and four sideline passes to the Tennessee game this year, which brought $7,000 per pair.

But the big story was that a pair of fans were able to purchase what only those who contributed to Florida's national championship will receive. Because the rings have yet to arrive, they had to settle for pictures on Wednesday night.

The Urban Meyer Scramble for Kids heats up on the links Friday with a pro-am at 1 p.m. at the University Golf Course and the Scramble Saturday with both morning and afternoon scramble tee times.

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