The Crowd: SPIN on the golf course brings in funds

Mesa Verde Country Club welcomed a field of 72 golfers playing in the sixth annual SPIN (Serving People In Need) Golf Tournament. SPIN is a local nonprofit dedicated to eradicating homelessness in Orange County. Head pro Tom Sargent greeted the teams of golfers who helped raise an estimated $23,400 by the end of the Monday tournament.

The funds go toward SPIN's programs that provide housing, rehabilitation, counseling, food and job training for individuals and families suffering from homelessness and substance abuse.

Highlights included recognition for the longest drive. In the ladies' field, Danni Remington took the honors. And for the men, Steve Tinnelly achieved the longest drive. Finishing in first place with a score of 58, Jarett del Bene, Bob Dowling, Ken Rimpau and Brian Wegener took a bow at the dinner and awards ceremony in the handsome Mesa Verde Clubhouse at sunset.

Also participating were super-dedicated SPIN board member and custom home builder Dick Crawford, Bill Peters, Jim Madden and John Gilchrist. Tina Newman, Chris Armato, Annie Stevens, Carrie and Sean Crawford, Tom Smithson, Ken Franklin, Morgan Anderson, and Jordan and Justin Goodman were also playing for SPIN.

As the golfers came in for dinner, the sounds of a helicopter drew the crowd to the massive bay windows looking out on the course. The helicopter circled Mesa Verde and dropped to a low altitude hovering above the course and pond just outside the clubhouse and began to drop hundreds of numbered golf balls over the hole as the crowd cheered. Each numbered golf ball corresponded to a donor supporting SPIN. The winner of the helicopter golf ball drop was Dr. William Brady of Newport Beach receiving a $1,000 prize.

Dedicated SPIN board members Mary Lou and Wayne Shattuck emceed the dinner party, which included a raffle, silent auction and honors for the champion golfers. The crowd enjoyed a buffet dinner provided by the club that included a selection of barbecued brisket, grilled chicken breast and fresh shrimp over rice. Donor Macallan Scotch provided the spirits on and off the golf course, including a 150-year-old bottle of their rare vintage as part of the raffle and silent auction.

Also in SPIN news, the recent OC Marathon included members of Team SPIN — led by volunteer Lori Junkins — raising more than $3,000 for the charity in celebration of her 50th birthday. When Junkins learned that SPIN was one of the chosen charities for the OC Marathon, she joined Team SPIN, and in lieu of gifts for her milestone birthday she asked her family and friends to donate to Team SPIN.

Joining Junkins were other top fundraisers Marissa Gonzalez and Sheree Davis. Both women were recently honored with the 2011 Spirit of Volunteerism Award from SPIN for their dedication to the charity's Street Service Program. Another group of volunteers known as Girls Do Lunch also joined Team SPIN, along with local high school student Joseph Ianev, who was planning on participating in the marathon and chose to fundraise for SPIN.

For more information on SPIN, call Kim Frazier at (714) 751-1101, Ext.19.

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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