PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Festivities surrounding actor Patrick Warburton's fourth annual celebrity golf tournament will start Thursday night in Palm Desert.

The Patrick Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament and related events will be held at the Classic Club and JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort's Palm and Valley courses through Sunday to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which conducts research on and treats pediatric cancer and other diseases, according to spokeswoman Andrea Carter.

Warburton appears in the CBS comedy ``Rules of Engagement'' and, on ``Seinfeld,'' played Elaine Benes' (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) on-and-off boyfriend, David Puddy. He also appeared in the movie ``Ted'' and is the voice of Joe Swanson on the Fox animated comedy ``Family Guy.''

The tournament is Saturday and Sunday morning.

A few entertainment events will be held in conjunction with the tournament, including a new addition, ``The Story Behind the Story: Songwriters Night'' at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert at 8 tonight. Nashville songwriters will tell the stories behind their songs, then perform them.

Scheduled to appear are Grammy winner Kim Carnes, who has written hits for Vince Gill and Reba McEntire; Tim Nichols, who wrote Tim McGraw's No. 1 hit ``Live Like You Were Dying''; Victoria Shaw, who has written songs for Garth Brooks; Rivers Rutherford, who wrote Brooks and Dunn's No. 1 hit ``Ain't Nothing About You,''; Jeff Hanna, who wrote Rascal Flatts' No. 1 song ``Bless the Broken Road''; and Matraca Berg, who wrote ``You and Tequila,'' performed by Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter.

Other events are:

  • ``Celebrity Jam Session'' 8 p.m. Friday at the Marriott. It will feature rocker Alice Cooper, Steve Cropper of Booker T & the MGs and the Blues Brothers, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Tommy Thayer of KISS, Mickey Thomas of Starship, John Elefante of Kansas, Carnes, Danny Seraphine of Chicago, Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Teri Nunn of
    Berlin and Dave Brock of Wild Child. A ``surprise guest'' will also make an
    appearance, Carter said.
  • Gala with dinner and a comedy show by Cheech and Chong at 8 p.m.
    Saturday at the Marriott. Sixwire -- the featured band on the television show
    ``Nashville'' -- will perform and celebrities will walk a red carpet.

 Celebrities scheduled to play in the tournament include actors Richard Kind, Luke Perry, Scott Wolf, Kurt Fuller, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Peter Gallagher, Robert Hays, Raymond Cruz, Michael Paul Chan, Sam Hennings, Bill Smitrovich, Joe Regalbuto and Brian Thompson, Fox news commentator Brett Baier, former National Football League players Jim McMahon, Robbie Gould and Sterling Sharpe, beach volleyball champion Sinjin Smith, former Major League Baseball players Ron Fairly and Steve Garvey and National Hockey League Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr.

In 2010, Warburton and his wife Cathy visited the main St. Jude in Memphis, Tenn., and later decided to hold a fundraiser, Carter said.

Last year's tournament brought in $727,000 for St. Jude, more than doubling the previous year's take. The event is the second-highest grossing golf tournament for St. Jude nationwide, after a tournament sponsored by Donald Trump in New York, Carter said.

Tickets to the songwriters' event are $100, Jam Session are $125, and Saturday gala and comedy show tickets are $250. Golf is $2,000 per person.

Information and tickets are available at www.thewarburton.com.