The fifth annual Andre Reed Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday at Lehigh Country Club attracted 35 celebrities, the majority of them former NFL stars.
But one of the most popular and recognizable celebs on hand was someone who has made his mark behind the microphone rather behind a face mask.
Lehigh Valley native Rich Lerner was back and thrilled to be involved in the Reed tournament for the first time.
Lerner's family used to own the Dorneyville Golf Center, not far from the country club.
So the personable, former WFMZ sports anchor who is now a fixture on the Orlando-based Golf Channel, felt right at home.
"I've been here for two days and I am already two-thirds of the way through the Lehigh Valley eating triple crown," Lerner said. "I'm going to do what California Chrome could not. I started at Sal's at 19th and Allen, my favorite pizza joint, and then I took my kid to Yocco's and then we're going to the Brass Rail.
"I'm still fascinated by Yocco's hot dogs and I've been eating them for 50 years. I said to Gary Iacocca [the owner] that the secret's not in the sauce. It's in the mustard. It has that extra kick."
Lerner may offer one of the most prominent voices in sports television when he talks golf, but he'll never forget his hometown and where he got started.
He came back to town early and participated in the Justin Sheftel Memorial Softball Tournament on Saturday at Parkland High School.
He still follows everything going on here and gets back as often as possible because his mother, Elaine, still lives here and his son, Jesse, is a rising senior at Muhlenberg College, where he's a member of the men's basketball team.
Lerner marvels at what has happened in the Allentown area since he left in 1997 to take the job at the Golf Channel.
"It's such a great area now with IronPigs and the arena going up downtown … there's a lot going on," he said. "And here you've got Lehigh Country Club and Saucon Valley Country Club, who both stack up with any of the finest clubs in the United States, and I see a lot of them. Then you've got some terrific public facilities.
"The only one missing is, of course, the Dorneyville Golf Center, which was my home," he said, laughing.
His affection for the region is why being back for Reed's event was so special to him.
"Andre and I know each for 30 years now going back to 1984 when I started at WFMZ," Lerner said. "Andre was one of the first big names I got to cover. I still have this vision of taking a film crew out to Kutztown and seeing Andre tune up for one of his pro days.
"I just remember the quarterback standing just 10 yards away and firing the ball and Andre just catching his passes like a machine, hands to chest. I was thinking to myself that I have never seen an NFL receiver up close, but I think this is what one looks like. So, to see what he has achieved, I am so happy for him."
At the tournament, Lerner embraced Andre's mother, Joyce, and remembered Reed's father, Calvin, who died in 1996 at the age of 52.
"I spent time in their living room and I remember Calvin was a very strong man with a dominant personality," Lerner said. "I am sure he was a very influential figure in Andre's life. You look around at all of the kids … Andre, Tyrone, Dion and Teshia — and they've raised a great family. There's a bright light in all of them, but Joyce is just a rock."
Andre has said that Calvin will be mentioned prominently — and likely with tears — at his Hall of Fame induction speech in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 2.
"I truly wish I could be there," Lerner said. "I have to be at a tournament in Reno that week, but I'd love to be at Canton instead because Andre and I always had a bond. We stayed in touch through the years and even though he was in California and I was in Florida, it was always just two homeboys from the Valley. It's like 'How did we get here? What has happened over the past 30 years?' It's a great joy."