Simon memorial golf tournament raises more than $211,000 | ParkRecord.com

Simon memorial golf tournament raises more than $211,000

When Norm Simon and his wife Jayne bought a house in Park Meadows in 2003, they knew this was a special community.

"We lived in Los Angeles, and we planned on using the Park Meadow’s house as a second home, but Jayne wanted to stay here all the time," Simon said during an interview with The Park Record. "So, we spent most of our time here."

After Jayne passed away due to lung cancer, Simon turned to the community to host a the first annual Jayne Simon Memorial Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA), a nonprofit organization that educates and raises awareness for lung cancer and lung cancer research.

The event was held Monday, July 13, at Park Meadows Golf Club and raised $211,000.

Kim Norris, the president and cofounder of the LCFA, said she was overcome with emotion when the amount was announced.

"Even now, when I tell people who much was raised, I’m still touched," Norris said. "That’s a lot of money for a golf tournament to raise."

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This is significant because of all the cancers out there, lung cancer has the hardest time raising funds for prevention research, according to Norris, who lost her husband 15 years ago.

"While lung cancer claims 30 percent of all cancer mortalities and kills more than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, it only gets a fraction of the funding," she said. "There are two reasons for this."

The first is the cultural stigma associated with lung cancer due to the majority of smokers who contract it.

"The anti-tobacco campaign is doing such a great job, but it has also created an illusion that there is a one-to-one relationship between smoking and lung cancer," Norris said. "Yes, tobacco is bad, nasty stuff that causes all sorts of terrible things. However, more than 60 percent of lung cancer diagnoses are nonsmokers."

The second reason for the lack of funding is due to the low number of lung cancer survivors.

"Breast cancer has more than an 88 percent, five-year survival rate and prostate cancer has more than a 99 percent, five-year survival rate," Norris said. "Lung cancer, on the other hand, has a 17 percent survival rate. So, we don’t have a legion of survivors who want to give back and say thank you. So that responsibility falls on the Norm Simons and Kim Norrises of the world."

Simon was inspired to organize the Jayne Simon Memorial Golf Tournament because he attended similar events in the past.

"We joined Park Meadows Country Club, even though we weren’t golfers, after we moved to Park City and learned to play golf," Simon said. "The club was so good to us that I thought I would put together a small tournament, raise a few dollars for the foundation and that would be the end of it."

The little tournament ended up attracting more than 200 people from all over the United States.

"We sold out the 140 slots and had a 30-slot waiting list," he said. "The participants were from Park City, L.A., New York and Atlanta. And it was very humbling to be involved in something like this and have all of these people come play golf and donate money in my wife’s honor."

Simon credited his late wife for the tournament’s success.

"She was in the music business and was the kind of person who everyone was drawn to," he said. "If you met her, you would never forget her."

Jayne Simon’s career spanned several decades after she started as a disc jockey in Chicago. She relocated to L.A. after she began working for A&M records, where she served from 1976 to 1989.

Afterwards, Simon was the general manager at Zoo Entertainment, senior vice president of sales at Geffen Records and sales and marketing at MCA.

During her career she worked with artists such as Janet Jackson, Styx, Mary J Blige, Sting, The Police, Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana and Elton John.

In 2007, she formed her own company, Artist Garage, with Mike Regan.

"I met Jayne on a blind date in the early 1980s," Norm Simon said. "She was in the music business and I was in the car-stereo business and a friend introduced us and it took off from there."

To honor his wife’s career, the golf tournament’s theme was music.

"Every hole had a rock ‘n’ roll album sleeve on it," he said. "We had album covers from Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt and the Doobie Brothers to Van Morrison."

The event featured a live DJ and silent and live auctions.

"The auction items included several photos of artists including Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles that were contributed from Jayne’s association and memorabilia organizations in L.A.," Simon said.

Some of those items were donated by Bob Gruen, known for his photographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the New York Dolls, David Bowie, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, Tina Turner, Kiss and Bob Dylan, to name a few.

"He donated signed photos and coffee-table books of his works," Simon said. "We also had a Beatles gold album and Kim Norris donated a pink guitar signed by Pink."

The wine was donated by Park City’s own Parallel Wines.

Simon said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Mike Henderson.

Coincidentally, Henderson’s wife Rena is Kim Norris’ best friend, and Norris, who had known the Simons through Valerie Harper’s husband, Tony Cacciotti, got the Simons in touch with Henderson.

Henderson, who was the director of World Cup events for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, said he was impressed with the event.

"I was one of a small, but dedicated, group of people that met every couple of weeks and organized this from the ground up to the final product," Henderson said. "While I was in the World Cup business for 10 years, I prided myself in being involved in exquisite events and would have been proud in my working life to have been a part of this event. It was so well done."

Henderson, Norris and Simon also wanted to thank David Williams.

"David is a local retired lawyer who made sure all the paperwork and logistics were in place," Henderson said. "He also emceed the show and, also being a comedian who puts on shows to raise funds for the National Ability Center, was perfect for the role. He took the rudder and guided the event."

Lastly, Simon wanted to thank the Park City community for its support.

"Everyone has taken me in and I consider everyone family," he said. "We knew this was a special place and I’m lucky to have spent those years with Jayne here."

For more information about or to donate to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America, visit http://www.lcfamerica.org.