Over $15K raised at Jr. Kings' golf tourney

The Los Angeles Jr. Kings hosted their fifth annual golf tournament and dinner at Mountain Gate Country Club in Los Angeles on Monday, 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 over $15,000 for the Jr. Kings’ Financial Assistance Program and the Uncle Kory Foundation - a charity organization which partnered with the Jr. Kings last 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 Renee Vachon.

“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 from everybody involved.”

The tournament’s signature donors included Luc Robitaille and Jonathon Anderson of the Los Angeles Kings and Brad Berman of American Skating Entertainment Centers - Hall of Fame sponsors who generously committed $5,000 each to the fundraiser.

Participating Hat Trick sponsors ($1,500) included Ed and Bob Grush (Grush Construction), Steve Markoff (Procon.org), Bill Clement (Complete Thermal), the Richard McNamara Family Foundation and Bauer Hockey.

Corporate sponsors included Dean Moss of The Hanger Inn restaurant; Craig Carroll at Tiger Press printing; Justin Sintic from BioSteel; R.L. Winston, who donated a fly rod and reel for raffle; Kona Brewing Company; and Nike Golf.

Among the 101 golfers in attendance were six current NHL players (Beau Bennett, Shane Harper, Brooks Laich, Kevan Miller, Ryan Miller and Eric Nystrom) and nine NHL alumns (Derek Armstrong, Kyle Calder, Matt Johnson, Jaroslav Modry, Jamie Storr, Brad Stuart and Nick Vachon, as well as Hockey Hall of Famers Robitaille and Rogie Vachon).

A number of former Jr. Kings also hit the links, including Brett Beebe, Daniel Gentzler, Gasper Kopitar, Shane McColgan 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 which next year will take place on Sunday, May 21, 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 McNall, Rogie Vachon, Marv Dauer and Kyle Roig won the tournament’s best-ball scramble, followed by the teams of Dean Moss, Chuck Skiko, Britt Anthony and Kim Welch (second place) and Berman, Robitaille, Kopitar and James Vye (third).

Lathan Williams and Rick Roe shared closest-to-the-pin honors, and Harper and Mike Weaver 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 just keeps getting bigger and better every year, and we’re excited to build on it next summer,” 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.”