When they gather at Moody Gardens on Friday to pay tribute to Bill Ross, they’ll recall his contributions to the Chamber of Commerce and the downtown partnership; someone will tick off the awards he’s received including “Person of the Year” in 2005, the Edward J. Weiss Spirit Award and induction into the Downtown Renaissance Hall of Fame.

His promotion of all-things Galveston Island and management of hotels and projects will, appropriately, be recounted.

Someone will mention golf. It’s a passion of his, perhaps second only to Penny; and, it’s a vehicle through which he has enriched the community not just as the face of Mitchell Historic Properties, but as an individual dedicated to giving of himself and his talents for the betterment of that community without concern for personal reward.

He loves the game and he loves to dress for the game. He’s loved calling up friends and contacts to firmly — but politely — remind them they need to support golfing fundraisers for Meals On Wheels, the Heart Association or the Rudy T tournaments, to name but a few. He’s clearly enjoyed his left-handed golf for the sheer joy and love of the game; but, he’s more clearly loved helping make people healthier, happier and better educated. Many years ago, someone told me I should get to know Bill, and I was fortunate to not only do that, but to count him among my golfing buddies and finally to know him as a friend, making me one of many.

Badge golf

Project Blue will hold a golf tournament at South Shore Harbour on June 23, with proceeds benefitting La Marque Police Officer Conan King. King graduated from the Galveston Community College Police Academy in 1997, worked for the Bayou Vista PD for five years and joined the La Marque PD as a patrol officer in 2011.

On April 25, King was badly injured in a traffic accident and has since undergone multiple surgeries; full recovery will require as long as a year.

The tournament is a four-person scramble. Cost is $130 per player or $450 per team, and includes breakfast, lunch and prizes. For information, call 832-767-8535 or email www.project-blue.org.

Be safe, on and off the course.

Gean Leonard is a columnist for The Daily News and can be reached at Gean.GDNgolf@gmail.com.

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