HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Nov. 8 -- It was a day of spectacular golf, camaraderie and one-on-ones on Monday, when the SCGA Foundation held its fifth Fundraiser Golf Tournament Presented by Callaway Golf at Hacienda Golf Club and netted more than $100,000 for the Foundation's quickly growing programs. View photos of the event here.
The event, headlined by Los Angeles Lakers legend and Northern Trust Open Executive Director Jerry West, is one of the Foundation's most significant fundraising events of the year. Proceeds benefit the Foundation Grants and Scholarship programs, as well as the popular Youth on Course program, which provides $1-$5 green fees and $1 range fees to certified youth at more than 90 area courses.
"I can't tell you how proud I am to be involved with this organization and all that it does for junior golf," said Foundation President Ed Holmes, also a past president of the SCGA. "The generosity and participation of the players and sponsors today is overwhelming."
After presentations by Holmes to past Foundation presidents Marc Myers and Peter James, SCGA Scholar Alma Gutierrez, a Cal State Fullerton freshman and employee of the Tiger Woods Learning Center, addressed the crowd, noting that "I hope to make you proud."
A Night with Jerry West capped off an evening of silent and live auctions with auctioneer Tony Magnemi that included Callaway custom-fit golf clubs, VIP trips to exclusive Pebble Beach private facilities, autographed artwork by renowned golf artist Scott Medlock, signed Jerry West basketballs and memorabilia, and many other area businesses and sponsors.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the intimate 45-minute Fireside Chat with West, facilitated by retired basketball player, Lakers Color Commentator and award-winning broadcaster Stu Lantz. In the one-on-one, introduced by an emotional Holmes ("We'd have to serve breakfast if I said everything I want to say about this guy," he joked), Lantz asked West about his growing up in West Virginia, his often difficult family life and the transition between painfully shy teenager to standout college player.
"I was so shy and so backwards, I couldn't talk to anybody," West said. "I grew up in a very meager background and went through some tough things in life, and learned how to fend for myself and frankly be defiant.
"I'm so fortunate to have had some great mentors along the way, though, who taught me a word I love: humility."
West also discussed his 1960 Olympic Basketball gold medal ("I wish everyone could stand up there and feel what I felt"), his Lakers family and how much it meant to him as a player and later as an executive, and how the game of golf has impacted him.
"The athletes I admire most are golfers, as I'm a solitary person and it can be a solitary game," he said. "In college I had a chance to watch Sam Snead hit balls, and I was in awe.
"I owe something to this city, which is why I became involved with the Northern Trust Open," West continued. "Seeing these young kids up here tonight, hearing them say they hope to make us proud...it made me happy."
The Fireside Chat tradition began at last year's Fundraiser event, headlined by The Match author Mark Frost and historic player Ken Venturi, a Match participant. Full video of the West and Lantz Fireside Chat will be available on scga.org in coming weeks, as well as available for purchase on DVD.
The Foundation Fundraiser Tournament sponsors include The COPi Companies, The Rose Hills Foundation, BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, Citizens Business Bank, Baker Hostetler, Entertainment Partners, Oakmont Country Club, Public Links Golf Association of Southern California, SCGA, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Dan and Kessie Cimino, Marc and Patricia Myers, Shale Companies, Hacienda Golf Club, GAT Family Foundation, Dave Nicholas & Errol Shaw, David Fleming, Private Management Group, Inc., and Bob Summers & Dennis Reiland.
Tournament supporters include Amanda and Richard Duffy, Hillcrest Country Club, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, Sierra Madre Capital Management, and In-N-Out Burger.