2017 LAFD Invitational Golf Tournament

October 31, 2017

I’ve been writin’ about and tryin’ to drum up as much support as I can for the annual LAFD Golf Tournament that takes place at the beautiful Mountain Gate golf course. It’s really a great opportunity to come out, enjoy the great weather, meet up with old friends and help support the Relief Association’s “Widows, Orphans & Disabled Fireman’s Fund.”

As usual, the Relief Association has been kind enough to let me use a golf cart to drive around the golf course and harass as many golfers as I can. My favorite target has been Ken Buzzell, who’s usually known for “slicing” and “dicin” the ball, verses just hittin’ the ball straight down the fairway. However, this year I witnessed Ken’s swing and I have to admit he’s either takin’ some powerful medicine or he’s been takin’ lessons from a golf pro. In fact, he was lookin’ a lot like Phil Mickelson! And since Ken was just voted in as the retired Fire Department representative on our pension board, I want to ensure my pension checks keep showin’ up on time.

So, instead of takin’ a plethora of pictures showin’ golfers, golf carts loaded with beer and snacks to keep those on the course well hydrated and full of nourishment, I thought the most important picture, to entice all of you to come out to this event, would be the accompanying photo of the lunch area. These are TWO “In ‘N’ Out” mobile hamburger trailers that supply you, the golfer, with unlimited free burgers, soda, chips and some of the best dang chocolate chip cookies that will ever pass through your lips enroute to your stomach.

As always, this event is open to everyone. Whether you’re retired, active or someone who just enjoys swingin’ a club, you should come on out and enjoy the experience.

There’s also a number of sponsors, who help support this great cause. Firemen’s Brew, Healthscope Benefits, Lewis & Marenstein, Bradawn Insurance Services and Southwest Value Partners, plus many, many more. The hole-in-one sponsors were Hamer Toyota, Vista Ford and Andorra Investment Management. And even though there were no holes-in-one, Andorra’s Kurt Stabel donated the $1000 prize to WODFF.

Many thanks to our Relief Association, the many sponsors and the host of volunteers that helped make this another successful event. Also, many thanks to all of you golfers that sacrificed your day to chase them little white balls around the golf course for an extremely worthwhile cause.

Remember, mark this event on your calendar for next year and join in on the fun and camaraderie. Also, if you’re real lucky, I’ll mention your name and comment on your game to all those that read the Grapevine. The negative or positive comments will be done with the ultimate goal of improvin’ your game. Look what I’ve done for Ken Buzzell.

By Mark Khitikian


Chubby Takes a Drive

The fifth hole on the Lake Nine is pretty tough. It’s a long 527 yard par five with a water hazard about mid-fairway. Funny how most every team was able to score birdie or better?!?

Actually, Lake 5 was the popular “Beat the Pro” hole, where everyone had a chance to improve their scores with the help of our in-house pro “Chubby Fowler.”

Many of you may be familiar with the PGA’s Rickie Fowler, who, on the final day of a golf tournament wears orange in honor of his alma mater Oklahoma State University. Well, LAFRA Trustee Mike Sailhammer was only too happy to dress in orange for the day, to the benefit of the Widows & Orphans Fund.

Here’s how it worked: Trustee Dave Peters acted as the “Carnival Barker” and rounded up the golfers as they approached Lake 5. “For a mere $20 donation to WODFF,” he barked, “you can take our golf pro’s drive instead of your own, and lay zero.” And to top that, Dave said he would double the donation if any golfer could beat Cubby’s drive

What a deal! Mike AKA “Chubby Fowler” can really hammer the ball! Many of the duffers were gaining two or three strokes.

While “Carny” Peters lured them in, his able assistant Hilary Sailhammer swooped in and grabbed the cash. With the combination of the big fellow in the orange outfit, the carnival clown and the lovely hostess, the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund was the one that really scored!


Winners Circle

Golf Results

• 1st Place with a 59
Kevin Wright, Gary Gatena, Dale Gant and Terry Manning
• 2nd Place with a 60
Jim DeZallar, Ruben Navarro, Marc Rossello and Mike Monroy
• 3rd Place with a 60
Keith Bandy, Brian Malinofsky, Chris Lavalle and Gabe Lopez
• 4th Place with a 60
Gary Klasse, Ryan Chance, James Meacham and Hector Amaya

Longest Drive
Men – Ryan Chance
Women – Kate Freeman

Closest to the Pin
Kevin Wright – 12’4”

Putting Contest
Kevin Rennie

Hustle Hole
Jim DeZallar, Ruben Navarro, Marc Rossello and Mike Monroy – 20 seconds


Golf Ball Drop

• 1st Place – $2500 – Jim Morrow
• 2nd Place – HD TV – Jim Dolan
• 3rd Place – FitBit and GoPro – Etham Eller
• 4th Place – Amazon Echo – Steve Robinson

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