On Monday September 23rd LAFRA kicked off the first day of fall with the 22nd Invitational Golf Tournament for the WODFF. The warm sun at the Mountain Gate Country Club made the cold drinks taste even better even though the persistent light breeze may have pushed some of the day’s drives into the trees.
The day began with the opening ceremonies, emceed by LAFRA trustee Rick Godinez. The LAFD Color Guard started things of by carrying in our nation’s colors. The three guards were ushered in by the sounds of bag pipes played by John Keys, followed by an invocation by Rabbi Josh Knobel. A stunning helicopter flyover by LAFD Air Ops signaled it was time to play some golf. Before the shotgun start, everyone watched the Golf Ball drop in anticipation, willing their ball to roll into the hole. The lucky winners of the Golf Ball Drop were Jesus Pasos in 4th place, Jesse Pena in 3rd place, Pete Pfleger in 2nd place, and Richard Bolzano in 1st place.
Then the teams were off! At North 1 I ran into the US Bank team as they chowed down on their In-N-Out burgers declaring these were “the best burgers at the best golf tournament!” Teammate Chris Rastatter, NCAA men’s basketball official, kept his team in the game when he “hit the lights out” at North 1. It must have been those In-N-Out burgers that gave him that extra push.
If the In-N-Out burgers didn’t entice you, maybe the refreshing cocktails from Mulholland Distilling at North 3 or the cold beer from Gillis Brewing at North 1 did. Most of the golf carts parked around the North side weren’t there to tee off, but to salute another amazing golf tournament as they refreshed themselves with the complimentary cold drinks.
Aside from the food and drinks that keep people coming year after year, the company isn’t too bad either. Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas said that “coming to this event every year is great because you get to see the camaraderie among the departments and it’s always a fun time when everyone comes together, especially when the funds go to such a great cause.”
If you reached North 9 you would have had the privilege of meeting and playing against LAFRA’s renowned tournament long driver John “Fail”y. He is the third cousin three times removed from PGA’s John Daly, who is also known for his distance off the tee. Some may say Mr. “Fail”y looked an awful like LAFRA’s trustee Mike Sailhamer, except for the patriotic pants and blinding combover you could spot from across the course. For a donation to the WODFF, you could take LAFRA’s golf pro’s drive instead of your own and lay zero. This stop also came with a bonus offer to win a new LAFRA driver for longest in the fairway, which was won by Jeff George for a 290-yard drive.
If the combover didn’t do anything for you, the cheers and support from the ladies of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kings, and Galaxy organizations made the worst of shots feel like an ace. Thank you again to all the young women that toughed out the long hours on the course for a good cause.
Along with the appearance of the cheerleaders and John “Fail”y, there was a lot of excitement this year with the 167 yard hole-in-one by Bladen Burns from Fiduciary Management, Inc. Fiduciary Management, Inc. has been a longtime sponsor of the tournament, and while most celebrate their ace by buying the first round at dinner, Bladen celebrated by donating $2,000 to the WODFF.
Congratulations to our 2019 LAFD Invitational champions and contest winners! 1st PLACE (-16) went to Carlos Garcia, Rick Garcia, Jeff Halloran, and Joe Luna. Right behind them by two strokes were 2nd PLACE (-14) Steve Robinson, Tony Gamboa, and Mark Reynosa. 3rd PLACE this year went to (-12) Kevin Wright, Terry Manning, Gary Gatena, and Dale Gant. Last, but not least, 4th place went to (-12) Roger Camunas, Doug Biro, Kevin Rennie, and Allen Black. Great job to all those who placed. And thanks to all the other participants who gave it their all. Just remember that you have a whole year to practice to get your name on that leader’s board next time.
The event concluded with a fabulous dinner sponsored by The Ben B. and Joyce E. Eisenberg Foundation. While participants ate and drank, LAFRA President Bob Steinbacher presented awards to the winning participants and honorary plaques to the fabulous and generous sponsors of the event. Special thanks go out to our Gold Sponsor—Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP. The Relief Association honored them with an embroidered turn-out coat encased in a beautiful shadow box for their continued support of the event and the Relief. Though representatives from Bradawn Insurance Services were not at the event, the Relief honored them with a designer plaque of appreciation for being our Silver Sponsor (the plaque will be mailed), and Express Scripts were equally honored for their generous support receiving the Bronze Sponsorship Award. A big shout out and thank you also to all our sponsors and participants. Without everyone’s support, an event of this magnitude could not be possible.
Thank you to the volunteers and staff that put this event together. A special thank you to Marlene Casillas, Juliet Brandolino, April Hood, and Juan Carlos Sanchez for all the hard work they do to make this event move along smoothly. Additional recognition goes to Doak Smith, Danny Wu, Steve Romas and that County Guy—Larry Hoerner for helping pick up the course after the day’s activities concluded. Lastly, there were too many individual volunteers to name, but a special thank you to Carol Moorman, Derek and Mollie Vehling and their children for their service.
I hope you will tee off with us next year. If the food and drinks don’t entice you, I hope you come to join the fun and camaraderie.
1st Place: Carlos Garcia, Rick Garcia, Jeff Halloran, Joe Luna
2nd Place: Steve Robinson, Tony Gamboa, Mark Reynosa
3rd Place: Kevin Wright, Terry Manning, Gary Gatena, Dale Gant
4th Place: Roger Camunas, Doug Biro, Kevin Rennie, Allen Black
Closest to the Pin
North 7: Tony Gamboa 7’1’’
Lake 3: Dale Gant 11’10’’
Lake 6: Frank Aguirre 6’11’’
Lake 8: Tyler Clark 7’2’’
Lake 5 Men: Allen Black
Lake 5 Women: Ginger Libby
Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP
Bradawn Insurance Services, Inc.
Awards Dinner Sponsor
Ben B. and Joyce E. Eisenberg Foundation
Angela Polk & Branden Silverman
Anthem Blue Cross
Artisanal Brewers Collective
Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC
Ben B. & Joyce E. Eisenberg Foundation
Chester Hasday, M.D.
Cirque Du Soleil
City National Bank
DoubleTree by Hilton
Dr. David Abri of Abri Dental Corp
Dr. Kenneth Sabbag, M.D. and Congress Orthopedic Associates
Engaged Capital, LLC
Fiduciary Management, Inc.
Fiduciary Trust Company International of California
Firefighters First Credit Union
FPA (First Pacific Advisors)
Ed Billig (In Memory of Dennis Mendenhall)
Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites
Hilton, Los Angles Universal City
InterContinental New Orleans
International Value Advisers, LLC
Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage
Jeffrey Hirsch, M.D.
Kevin Wright of Morgan Stanley
Klausner, Kaufman, Jensen & Levinson
LAFD Sertoma Club
Lazard Asset Management Co.
Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP
Los Angeles Retired Fire and Police Association
MCL Health Management, Inc.
Med Legal Alliance
Marriott Dan Diego Del Mar
Mitchel Silverman, M.D.
Miracle Mile Medical Center
Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association
Portfolio Advisors, LLC
Principal Global Investors
Robert & Suzanne Davidow
Silvercrest Asset Management, Inc.
Southwest Value Partners
St. James, Inc.
Stuart Fischer, M.D.
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa
Trian Fund Management, L.P.
Triguard Management, LLC
Timothy C. Reynolds, M.D., A Medical Corporation
United Firefighters of Los Angeles City
Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC