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Weather holds up for Pujols' golf event

Weather holds up for Pujols' event

ST. LOUIS -- Deidre Pujols admitted she was sweating a little. In fact, she wore it as something of a badge of honor.

Deidre and her husband, Albert Pujols, were delighted to have warm weather for the sixth annual Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Country Club at St. Albans, Mo., outside St. Louis. The early forecast threatened a damp day, but instead it was just about perfect for the 300 or so golfers who took to the course at St. Albans on Monday.

The tournament is one of the two biggest annual fundraisers for the Pujols Family Foundation. According to Josh Goldberg, who helps represent Pujols as part of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, the event was expected to raise nearly $400,000 for the foundation.

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Nearly every current Cardinals player was in attendance, as well as present and past members of the St. Louis Rams and Blues, some past Cardinals and even some Chicago Cubs.

"It could have been a day they could stay home," Albert Pujols said, "and we have almost everybody from our team coming today -- except the guys we brought up [September callups], and that's because we don't have any more spots for them."

It's been a big week for Pujols, both on the field and off. He's riding a hot streak at the plate, and last week he was named the Cardinals' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. Sunday was the "Buddy Walk" for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis, supporting a meaningful cause for the Pujols family. And now the tournament.

"From a St. Louis Cardinals perspective, just being out here and being able to participate in it means a lot to us," said general manager John Mozeliak. "Albert, his foundation and the cause, have become a part of our fabric. Anything we can do to help endorse it is something we take a lot of pride in."

The golf started at around 1 p.m. CT, but that was far from the only event. Once the golfers returned from the course, it was time for awards, dinner, a video about the foundation's work and a memorabilia auction.

The foundation will do plenty with the proceeds from the tournament, but the main result will be a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in November. It will be the third such trip for Pujols, following visits in January 2007 and 2008. As with the 2007 trip, the foundation will take dentists to the Dominican, providing dental care as well as education for poor children in the slugger's native country.

"It's not just writing a $50,000 or $25,000 or $100,000 check," Pujols said. "It's also being sure that we witness to those people, and we educate them and let them know where this gift is coming from."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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