Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Classic tees off in Portsmouth

Some of the biggest names in the entertainment world are hitting the links today in the Ocean State, all to benefit local charities. They’re here for the fourth annual Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Classic, which includes a golf tournament, softball game and comedy show.

The event, started by the Rhode Island native and Grammy-nominated R&B singer and songwriter, has raised more than $600,000 over the last four years for local organizations that support arts and music in public schools and that provide safe environments and services for families in need.

Tuesday’s events are taking place at the Carnegie Abbey Club in Portsmouth, where celebrities will tee off for the cause. Despite the rain, golfers were in good spirits speaking with The Rhode Show’s Michaela Johnson.

“Basically, it’s like a family thing,” said ESPN’s Jay Harris, who comes to the event each year to support Osborne. “The charities that he believes in, I believe in.”

In addition to support from Osborne’s friends, he has been thrilled by the community’s response to this year’s activities, including the comedy show at PPAC on Sunday and Monday’s softball game at McCoy Stadium.

“That’s what this is all about. We’re trying to make things that are affordable to the community to come out and participate,” he said. “All the money is going to the community, so this is what it’s all about, and it is wonderful to see them come out in full support.”

Jazz saxophonist Elan Trotman, who performed Monday night at the reception, said that supporting local programs for the arts in schools is what keeps him coming back.

“I know the importance of the arts, especially for young people, with the issues we have like violence and unemployment,” he said. “So you know, being able to work with the youth and to put an instrument in their hands, I think that’s a great way to keep them focused and give them an opportunity to explore different options for a career.”

Osborne, Trotman, and many others will perform at tonight’s gala, the last event of the Classic.

Here are some of the other segments featured on The Rhode Show on August 11, 2015:

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