The Crowd: Dreams to help fight illiteracy

The Pelican Hill Golf Club was the setting for a spectacular day of golf pre-holidays benefiting the Literacy Project Foundation of Orange County.

A picture-perfect day made for an outstanding first annual golf tournament that organizers billed as "Fore Dreams." Co-chaired by a duo of dynamic gals, the beautiful (inside and out) Jeannie Lawrence and Sue Tucker, some 225 golfers and their guests participated in the day-long event that included 18 holes of golf at Pelican Hill on a course considered one of the top 100 public golf courses in America.

The "Fore Dreams" field of players enjoyed personal caddies assisting each foursome, and were provided a host of luxury premiums in their signature duffel bags created for the Literacy Foundation. Models sporting Scottish golfing attire complete with the traditional beret, plaid pleated skirts and suspenders over starched white blouses represented tournament donor and sponsor Rockstar Energy Drinks; they gave the arriving players a warm welcome and plenty to talk about.

Additional significant sponsors deserving credit for their support of O.C. literacy were First Foundation Advisors, Safety Supply America, Rancho Las Lomas, Digital Eye Media, the Pelican Hill Resort, Svedka Vodka, Strategic Perception, Janie Merkle / Re/MAX Fine Homes, Pascal Restaurants and Riviera Magazine.

Pelican Hill's gorgeous Mar Vista Ballroom welcomed the golfers and guests for dinner and dancing, and a bit more fundraising via auction as the sun set on the greens fronting the Pacific Ocean. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served al fresco on the dining room's ocean-facing balcony prior to a dinner service of four courses featuring an entrée selection of surf and turf.

Among the big winners of the day were Gary Brewer, Gary Barker, Steve Golan and Tom Fashing taking first place in the "Four Player Scramble" with a low score of 55. Also among the day's champions were Paul Fuzzard, Jeff Fuzzard, Kevin Kelly, Brian Cameron, Steve Johnson, Drew Mumford, Gary Lastinger and Mitch Wright. Longest drive honors went to Dan Korpman and Jim Andronaco who took the prize for "closest-to-the-pin".

White the social rallying point was created around golf and entertainment, the event found its purpose in helping kids struggling with learning. Teacher Neil Carter, a respected educator and member of the Literacy Project Foundation, addressed the dinner crowd and shared shocking stories of impoverished children facing the task of learning against all odds. Carter told his audience that illiterate youth become illiterate adults, and both the individuals and greater society at large suffer as a result.

That's where the Literacy Project Foundation steps in with the purpose of preventing life-long illiteracy. Their mission, according to organizer Sue Tucker, "Is to enable at risk and disadvantaged youth to increase their reading skill levels enabling these children to become self-sufficient and productive members of society."

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THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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