Mesa Verde Classic swings for an island theme

With styles inspired by the Aloha State, they're calling it a golf tournament "where every hole is an event."

Monday's eighth-annual Mesa Verde Classic, with its Hawaiian/South Pacific theme, promises to be bigger and better than ever, organizers said.

Throughout its history, the Costa Mesa United fundraiser has raised about $1 million for Newport-Mesa youth sports programs, some of which has also helped fund the school district's sports facilities.

The sold-out event at the Mesa Verde Country Club in Costa Mesa is expected to happen, rain or shine, said spokesman Devin Lucas.

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger and Gordon Bowley are chairing the fundraiser this year.

Registration for the nearly 120 golfers begins at 8:30 a.m., with the 18-hole tournament starting at 10:30 and ending around 4 p.m.

Participants can expect themed food, drinks and entertainment at each hole. Pop-up tents will keep the golfers entertained before tee-off.

Restaurants, including Skosh Monahan's, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, Newport Rib Co., Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out Burger, will serve food and drinks.

"It'll be a real 'tasting of Costa Mesa,'" Lucas said.

A calypso band and hula and fire dancers are also planned, as is the chance to ride a mechanical surfing machine.

Golfers may even see exotic animals — pythons and the like, Lucas said.

After the golfing is done and the scores tallied, the Mesa Verde Country Club will host a catered dinner. Most of the golfers also go to the dinner, while some supporter just attend the dinner.

This year's event honoree is Richard Jones of the Jones & Mayer law firm, which contracts services to the city. Retiring city employee Peter Naghavi will also receive an award, as will Jennifer Knapp, Janet Krochman, and David and Patricia Schweitzer.

A silent and live auction is also planned. Prizes include a weekend getaway in Big Bear, dinner with Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer, a day where Costa Mesa's five planning commissioners "work for you" on household projects, and a private tour at the Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery.

Organizers are optimistic about the tournament and dinner's fundraising potential.

"We know it will raise six figures this year," Lucas said.

But of all the goings-on, Lucas said, in addition to the food, there's one thing he's prepped to try.

"I definitely want to try the mechanical surfing," he said. "That's something I've never seen before."

Twitter: @bradleyzint

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