On the Town: Teeing up for benefit, to win a million bucks

Who wouldn't want a shot at a million dollars? At the Hathaway-Sycamores “Shot-at-Million” Golf Classic on May 18, 10 lucky golfers were finalists eligible for the big money. All you had to do, once qualified, was make a hole-in-one.

At the Angeles National Golf Club in Sunland, 130 golfers teed-up to try. About 30 players began “The Longest Day of Golf” at 7:30 a.m. That meant any golfer could play as many holes as they wanted, and at their own pace. Each golfer contributes or raises $1,500 and receives admission for two at the 19th Hole after-party. Tee-off for the 9-Hole Scramble Teams began at 3:00 p.m. with approximately 90 players. Here, teams of two compete in a two-person scramble “scratch” format. The cost is $500 per team and includes two tickets to the after-party. Co-chairmen of the tournament were Brad Freer (he played 30 holes) and Mark Jewell.

Instead of hitting the links, others were more interested in partying at the clubhouse. There were more than 200 guests at the 19th Hole after-party held on the patio overlooking the course. Each non-golfing guest paid $50. The late-afternoon party was full of five-star food and drink, entertainment and silent-auction items. The favorite was the chance to win trips for two to New York and Maui. Bill Wegner won the New York prize, Bob Lang won Maui. Guests had a bird's-eye view of those golfers trying to sink a hole in one to become an instant millionaire. Before a chance at the big money, a single qualifying shot at 165 yards took place. Gary Koshak from Castaic teed-off on the patio mound. Koshak is a business associate of Rob Myers, executive vice president of Hathaway-Sycamores. The shot, according to Koshak, “was horrible. I didn't put it on the green. I overshot it.” That meant Koshak was out of the money.

In-the-money, in terms of event proceeds, was Hathaway-Sycamores. President and CEO Bill Martone estimated that the day would bring in $140,000.

Martone said that a golf event-fundraiser for Hathaway-Sycamores has been held for 16 years, for last three years at the Angeles National Golf Club.

KCBS news and traffic reporter Whitney Drolen kept the action moving through her smooth emceeing at the party. On the CBS Morning Show, from 5 am to 7 am, Drolen includes a “People to Watch” segment. Currently, she has featured four Hathaway-Sycamores stories. “This organization does great things in the community,” said Drolen.

Spotted at the party was Teresa Lamb Simpson, District Representative for U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff. Players from La Cañada included Mike Malone and Charles Kenny. When asked how they played, Kenney said, “Great! Well, actually we have no idea.” Malone's wife, Cynthia Malone, was more partial to the party.

Also present was another La Cañada Flintridge resident, Marikay Cuthill, a friend of tournament Co-chairman Freer. Cuthill was seen bidding on a Jacob Maarse custom flower arrangement in the silent auction.

The arrangement was donated by Linda and Bob Willett. Its retail value was $200 with a minimum bid of $50. Another favorite in the silent auction was donated by Pasadena's Noir Food and Wine. It was a tasting dinner for eight with eight courses and eight wines. The retail value of the dinner and wines was $1,000 with a minimum bid of $500. There were plenty of takers for this prize.

A Glendale contingent at the after-party included insurance maven Rick Dinger and wife Heather Dinger. Rick didn't play this year, since he and Heather just got back from a trip to Hawaii. “I'll play next year,” assured Dinger.

At the end of the party, three high school seniors spoke. Elisha Marquez, Donald Kaplan and Alejandra Negrete receive tutoring services from the Hathaway-Sycamores Family Resource Center (Computer Learning Lab) in Highland Park.

The $140,000 in event proceeds will help Hathaway-Sycamores deliver critical mental health services to the more than 7,000 children and families served by the organization each year.

No one walked away with the $1 million.

RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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