HAZLETON, Pa. -- Hazleton's own Joe Maddon was back home for his annual charity golf fundraiser that benefits the Hazleton Integration Project.
"It's exciting times for the Integration Project," Maddon said. "I think it's exciting times in Hazleton. I think you're definitely seeing an uptick in a lot of different areas in the community."
For the past three years, Joe Maddon and his charity, Respect 90, have teamed up with the integration project to host the golf fundraiser. This year, the tournament had a new name, "Try Not to Suck in the Valley."
It's a phrase Maddon made popular after famously telling one of his players to, "try not to suck," before suiting up for the Cubs. The comical saying has now made its way from Chicago to Maddon's hometown of Hazleton.
More than 100 golfers participated. The fundraiser is expected to bring in about $30,000-40,000 for the Hazleton Integration Project.
"It's critically important for our region," Hazleton Integration Project Founding President Bob Curry said. "For our project, it brings a lot of wonderful publicity and goodwill to our community and we're just delighted to be apart of it."
The Hazleton Integration Project works to unite Hazleton. The nonprofit offers a wide range of services for the people and children of Hazleton, including an afterschool program for about 100 kids and ESL classes for adults.
"It's really good that we have fundraisers like this to be able to pay for programs and to be able to renovate the community center, make it better, and make it more enjoyable for the children," Hazleton Integration Project volunteer Katherine Abreu said.
The next big fundraiser for the Hazleton Integration Project will be held in December.