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Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament works to raise more than $2.2 million this year

The Warburton Songwriters Night

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament kicks off Thursday with Songwriters Night, a night dedicated to hearing the stories behind the biggest songs in country music from the people who wrote them.

The event spans four days with concerts, the golf tournament and most importantly a fundraiser for a good cause. This is the eighth year Patrick Warburton has brought together some of the biggest names in show-biz, to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"We wanted to do something that benefited children, sick children and their families, and St. Jude does all of that. They take care of the families and the children, they don't charge them anything," Warburton said.

Warburton, the tournament host, reflected on how the tournament has grown over the past eight years.

"A gentleman at the helm, Clarke Rheney, out here works tirelessly all year long. And we have an amazing board and everybody works really hard and this is one of those events that just wanted to grow and become so much more," Warburton said.

From rocking with legends to teeing off on some of the desert's most beautiful courses, the event has it all.

"Golf is the great common denominator. The musicians, the actors, the athletes, the businessmen, everyone plays. And it's a great way to get everyone together to raise funds for a worthy cause," Warburton said.

He said the most important part of the weekend is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, even though its far away in Memphis, everyone is touched and moved by what the hospital does. And the hospital has been there for members of this community," Warburton said.

Every year organizers hope to exceed the previous year's donations. Last year the event raised enough money to run the hospital for a day.

"Over the last seven years, we've raised a total of about $7.2 million, $7.3 million. And last year alone we raised $2.2 million but that's about what it costs a day to keep the doors of the hospital open," Warburton said.

Warburton said he hopes to raise more than $2.2 million this year. The event continues throughout the weekend with tomorrow night's Jam Session and Golf Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

Stay with News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 for continuing coverage of this four day event.

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