The purpose of the tournament was multi-fold. 1) To raise much needed dollars for all athletic programs for the school, 2) Raise scholarship money for students, 3) Expose more students to the game of golf, and 4) To provide a fun filled day of golf competition to those who participated.
Teams of students volunteered to serve in roles as greeters, bag check in workers, monitored contests such as closest golfer to the hole, longest driver, pulled raffle tickets during the luncheon, and other activities. Some of the students even got an opportunity to drive golf carts on the course while working. But the amazing thing was that the students were required to arrive at the school by 5:00 a.m. for pick-up, and not one missed the time. These students were committed!
During an interview with Davidson he said that it was a “Booster Club” that helped him gain access to higher education, and that he wants to help in any way that he can to assist the students at Belmont with the same kind of support. He also said that golf teaches life lessons such as self worth, discipline, and integrity……something that young and old alike can benefit from.
But the catalyst behind the idea of the golf tournament is Booster Club President, Mr. Damasio Adan Chavez who is an avid golfer himself, and has a son who is a graduating senior at Belmont. Chavez told me that it was perseverance that kept him on track to make this tournament a reality. He said that the past year preparing for the event has been challenging –but he can now see the fruits of his labor.
Other sponsors/supporters of the event by hole: 1) Belmont Athletic Dept. (Banner), 2) Mr. David Hawkins (Tee), 3) David O’Keefe (Banner), 4) Juan Ochoa, Jose Ochoa (Tee), 5) Russell D. Keely (Tee), 6) Alex H. Phillips (Banner), 7) Julianne O’Conner (Tee), 8) Tricell Software/Victor Chavez (Banner $Hole), 9) Nick Somilleda (Tee), 10) Mrs. Marla Ryan/Ryan Family (Tee), 11) Kline Family (Tee), 12) Chavez & Riggio Family (Tee), 13) Tony Hicks (Tee), 14) Larry Dunn (Tee), 15) Belmont Alumni Assn. (Tee), 16) Johnnie – O (Banner), 17) Prudential Realty/Carlos Chavez (Tee), 18) Adams Golf (Banner).
The hole sponsors and team players provided much of the financial support for the golf tournament, but over $15,000 worth of golf gear, clubs, golf club passes to various clubs, and other items were donated to the cause as giveaways for the raffle and silent auction activities, and top level private sponsor was Alex H. Phillips.
The school (Belmont High School) itself including administrators, teachers, classified staff, students, parents, and other members of the Belmont community deserve thanks for their support. But a special thank you goes out to Athletic Director (and his coaching staff) Mr. Neil La Sala, who was instrumental in coordinating with school staff, Ms. Nguyen Cao, ASB Advisor who coordinated the activities of the students, and along with Mr. La Sala represented the school on the Belmont Athletic Booster Club (BABC).
Also much appreciation for BABC Vice-President, Mr. Mauricio Aranda, who also serves as Vice President for Belmont’s Alumni Association along with President Harry Landon. And you know the saying “behind every great man is a great woman” well in this case it is two women Mrs. Ana Chavez, wife of BABC President Damasio Chavez who has supported her husband and the booster club since day one, and Marcela Riggio, a top notched Female Parent Director.
Other contributors: Golf Pro Mr. Justin Davidson for bringing numerous silent auction packages to the event, Mr. Nick Somilleda for his excellent donation of Dodger Games, Mr. Victor Chavez for his website silent auction donation, Mrs. Carol Cracchiolo (wife of Neil La Sala), Marcela Riggio for their great support. Photographer, Sadiyya Ameena for her great photos. And a special thanks to Kimberly Sennela, Brookside Golf Course Tournament Director, for letting the booster club host its golf tournament at their beautiful facility.
Oh yes and now the winners: Ladies Flight Gold Medalists (76) Sue Khol Benton, Mary Randall, Sue Jameson, and Sue Talty. Ladies Flight Silver (77) Dianne Brown, Cathy Pherson, Julianne O’Oconnor and Gail Nackel. Mixed Flight Gold (64) Candy Cayer, Chayne Blair, Francisco Olmedo and Rene Ortiz. Mixed Flight Silver (65) Arturo Chavez, Jose Rico, Marla Ryan and Mindy El-Saden. Men’s Flight Gold (57) Jose Jimenez, Carlos Jimenez, Edgar Rodriguez, and Ulises Roddriguez. Men’s Flight Silver (60) Gerardo Pena, Evan Vollerthun, Billy Graezyk and Patrick Lonergan. Longest Drive (320 Yards) Patrick Lonergan. $ Money Hole Winner, Carol Cracchiolo.
It has been an honor and a privilege to write this article on my Alma Mater. And I want to personally congratulate and thank everyone (including those not mentioned in the article) who in anyway contributed to the success of this BABC sponsored event. And thank you for reading it….but please don’t stop there, share it with your family & friends, and invite them to participate in next year’s Sentinel Golf Classic. For more information on how to join and/or support the Belmont Athletic Booster Club please contact Damasio Chavez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-371-1567, or Neil La Sala (Belmont Athletic Director) at email@example.com or 213-241-4300.
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