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The close-to-home reasons Richmond's most famous golfer is hosting his own tournament

Posted at 8:40 PM, Apr 13, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Millions of people who play golf only do so casually and many times in some sort of fundraising tournament. Those who have played professionally are in high demand for such events and they are usually tied in with some sort of sponsorship.

But Richmond’s most famous golfer is putting together his own tournament and the reasons hit as close to home as you can get.

Robert Wrenn is one of Richmond's best-known golfers, having won on the PGA Tour and played in The Masters. He has also been CBS 6’s main analyst on our coverage of the State Open of Virginia for the past two years. He has played in “well over 500” fundraising tournaments. “…probably closer to 1,000,” Wrenn added.

The Wrenn Family
The Wrenn Family

He has also played numerous times with his sons who grew up in the West End and are incredibly proud of their famous father. Perhaps even happier that they can best him in at least one area of the game these days.

“My brother and I are definitely all power and no finesse-type golfers,” Wrenn’s son Tucker said. “We love being able to brag about outdriving him out there.”

But The Wrenn's next tournament will be their most important and hit closest to home. It is a fundraiser for Northstar Community, an outreach clinic that treats addiction and counsels families who are dealing with the disease.

Tucker Wrenn

The Wrenn's became very familiar with Northstar about a decade ago when Tucker was diagnosed with ADHD and dealt with social anxiety. He first tried marijuana when he was 15 to help focus his mind and ease his nerves.

“I tell everyone the first time I used marijuana it kind of felt like I had met my best friend,” Tucker said.

He got caught early on, but no amount of punishment seemed to work.

“It became a full-time job,” Tucker recalls. “I felt that I had found the combination that my brain needed to succeed.”

Kathy and Robert Wrenn
Kathy and Robert Wrenn

Wrenn and Tucker's mother Kathy's concern greatly increased when Tucker got arrested and booked on charges of distribution.

“He served 4 months in jail and was on probation for 5 years,” Kathy said. “Seeing him in the jail and having to talk to him behind a window, not being able to hug him, was really hard for me.”

Tucker dropped out of college and sustained marijuana use led to other addictions and eventually abuse of Xanax, withdrawals from which can be lethal.

“I felt lost. I felt like I didn't have a direction,” Tucker remembers. “I said I'll figure this out tomorrow. And tomorrow turned into a couple of years.”

Another brush with the law nearly landed Tucker back in jail for at least 5 years. That's the point where he reached out to his parents for serious help.

The Northstar Community took in not just Tucker, but Robert and Kathy as well, educating and helping everyone recover from the effects of Tucker's addiction.

Scott McBean
Scott McBean

Scott McBean, a counselor for Northstar, understands the effect of addiction on people other than the one using.

“We know it's not just the person using that it affects but their family members and their friends and loved ones in the community at large,” McBean said.

The Wrenns cite Northstar as being the main reason for the reconnection they enjoy today. Tucker and his parents are willing to share their story for anyone that might need to hear it. Tucker has become a counselor himself, living proof that help is available, and it does work.

Robert Wrenn and sons
Robert Wrenn and sons

As devastating as the road to recovery has been, Tucker’s turnaround is just as important for those around him.

“People can and do get better,” McBean said. “To me, that's the significance of a story like Tucker's is that he got better. He shows other people that's what's possible.”

If you or anyone you know is suffering from addiction, there are several local facilities that are ready to help:

These are the web addresses for Northstar Community,Kathy’s non-profit, Illume Family Recoveryand the company Tucker works for, Aware Recovery Care

Click here to learn more about the golf tournament or call the national helpline 24-7 at 800-662- HELP.

Watch for Lane Casadonte's features on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com. If you know someone Lane should profile, email him beyondtheroster@wtvr.com.

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