On a clear, cool morning in Seal Beach, HOPE, Inc. welcomed more than 140 golfers and 55 sponsors to beautiful Old Ranch Country Club for its 11th Annual Charity Golf Classic. The yearly theme of this event is “Creating Independence,” and the 200K raised through its coordination go directly to empowering people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) through housing to become valuable, contributing members of their communities.
“The tournament makes such a great impact in the community and ends up being one of the best charity golf tournaments in the region.”
— Robert Wasserman
It is the dream of many people with developmental disabilities to one day live with greater independence in an affordable home of their own. Unfortunately, the current housing market is not creating sufficient affordable housing to meet the needs of many Californians’ with low-to-moderate incomes. Today, an individual with I/DD earning minimum wage would be required to work 92 hours a week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
For eleven years, HOPE’s Charity Golf Classic has raised significant financial resources to address this issue in Los Angeles County. Titanium level sponsor California MENTOR contributed $15K alone to support this cause, while Ambitions California, City National Bank, Patricia Del Monico, Integrated Life, LRA Interpreters, and Social Vocational Services each contributed $10k to assist in creating future HOPE homes.
Tournament participant and current HOPE Board Member Robert Wasserman, of Wasserman Commercial Real Estate, said, “This is such a great event; I love supporting it every year.”
“The tournament makes such a great impact in the community and ends up being one of the best charity golf tournaments in the region,” he adds.
As the golf action concluded in the late afternoon, more than 80 additional guests from the philanthropic community arrived for the sold-out tournament dinner. This premier Southern California fundraising event offered attendees the chance to support HOPE’s mission through a silent auction and opportunity drawings for vacations to Pebble Beach, Carmel, and Palm Beach, as well as scores of other prizes. Due to the passionate support of these attendees, the “day-of” donations through these activities surpassed $25K alone.
Dinner corresponded with HOPE’s “Creating Independence” program where guests heard from HOPE Executive Director Kristin Martin as he shared organizational accomplishments from the previous year. These include the purchase of three new properties in Long Beach that will house 11 people with developmental disabilities and the completed renovation on two new 24-Hour Residential Care Homes in Carson that now serve six people with increased medical or behavioral needs.
Closing out the evening’s program was a speech by HOPE resident Eric Cline, who spoke to how his affordable College-to-Career home has given him the opportunity to succeed in school and life. “Living on your own is like riding a bike for the first time without training wheels,” he said. “At first you don’t think you can do it, but then once you start peddling on your own, you realize you can.” Eric spoke to how his HOPE housing serves as the foundation of his growing independence.
Since establishing this annual tournament, more than a decade ago, HOPE has raised $1.4M to create stable, affordable housing for people with developmental disabilities. Today, we operate more than 110 homes that serve more than 330 people with I/DD in Los Angeles County.
HOPE thanks its golfers, dinner attendees, sponsors, donors, and volunteers, who each year rally together to ensure this event has the greatest impact possible on the community.