The Los Angeles Jr. Kings hosted their seventh annual golf tournament and dinner at Mountain Gate Country Club in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 27th and the event proved to be another resounding success on a number of levels.
The efforts of the fundraiser, which was orchestrated by Jeff Brockman, the PGA professional at Mountain Gate, raised $17,520 for the Jr. Kings' Financial Assistance Program and the Uncle Kory Foundation - a charity organization which partnered with the Jr. Kings in 2016 year in an effort to raise both awareness of and funds for cancer research, specifically brain cancer.
"We couldn't be happier with the response we received from both the participating golfers and our generous donors and sponsors," said Jr. Kings executive director Kelly Sorensen, who also praised the efforts of the tournament's volunteer staff, led by Helen Alex and Christine Souto. "To garner so much support from the local hockey community and beyond means so much to our club as it relates to keeping the game affordable for our membership, not to mention getting behind the fight against cancer."
"It was a great day all around," said Brockman. "From the player turnout to the charitable donations, we couldn't be happier with the response both from the hockey community and beyond."
The tournament's signature donors included Luc Robitaille and Kelly Cheesman of the Los Angeles Kings and Brad Berman of American Skating Entertainment Centers - all Hall of Fame sponsors who generously committed $6,500 each to the fundraiser.
Participating Hat Trick sponsors ($1,500) included Steve Markoff (Procon.org), Bill Clement (Complete Thermal), the Richard McNamara Family Foundation, 1st Century Bank and Wells Fargo Financial Services. Corporate sponsors included Dean Moss of The Hangar Inn restaurant, Craig Carroll at Tiger Press printing, R.L. Winston, who donated a fly rod and reel for raffle, and Nike Golf.
Among the 98 golfers in attendance were five NHL alums (Dave Taylor, Derek Armstrong, Jaroslav Modry, Brad Stuart and Nick Vachon, as well as Hockey Hall of Famers Luc Robitaille and Rogie Vachon).
A number of former Jr. Kings also hit the links, including Brett Beebe, Daniel Gentzler, Gasper Kopitar, Tommy Tartaglione and Chase Souto.
Also in attendance was former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall, who helped architect the trade that brought Wayne Gretzky to L.A.
"To see so many current and former players come out and show their support was outstanding," Brockman added. "It really brings another level of excitement to the tournament when these guys participate."
Renee Vachon, who also serves as director of the Uncle Kory Foundation, was equally pleased the organization had the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the day's festivities.
"To have the Jr. Kings' support says a lot about the people involved in the club and their commitment getting behind our community," said Vachon, who also organizes the Jr. Kings' participation in the Tour de Pier - an annual cancer-awareness fundraiser in Manhattan Beach. "We're excited to build on our partnership as we continue our collective fight against cancer."
On the course, the foursome of Darrell Oracion, Garrett Leight, Dagan Massey and Dave Horwitch won the tournament's team scramble, followed by the teams of Jed Oracion, Joe Roca, Sang Lee and Jeff Oracion (second place) and Berman, James Vye, Kopitar and Dane Braunecker (third).
Berman and Jason Knupfer shared closest-to-the-pin honors, and Braunecker and Erik Lektorp flexed their muscles to share the prize for longest drives.
A silent auction, which was conducted during the tournament and dinner and included plenty of sports and entertainment memorabilia, helped add to the charitable spirit of the event.
"This tournament is so much fun for the participants and we're committed to enhancing the size the event," said Sorensen, who noted next year's event will be held on Monday, Aug. 28, at Mountain Gate. "We're lucky to have so many selfless people on our side who help make initiatives like this so successful and our club so special."