Not even a torrential atmospheric river rainstorm could dampen spirits at the 25th anniversary El Camino Heritage Golf Tournament, which had been postponed for a year due to COVID-19. Staff, guests, and volunteers were thrilled to be back together at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club on October 25, 2021 to celebrate the event's quarter century of support for El Camino Health and raise money for the Cardiopulmonary Wellness Center. One hundred twenty four golfers competed in the sold out tournament and another 25 guests joined the festivities for the celebration dinner. The benefit raised an estimated $200,000 for the cardiac rehabilitation program.
Golfers began arriving at 9:30 AM and spent the morning shopping at the Titleist/Footjoy store, practicing on the driving range, and competing in the putting contest. The sun came out by tee time, and they headed to their starting holes as the bagpiper played. Following a perfect day on the course, they enjoyed drinks and an elegant, freshly prepared boxed dinner as they socialized poolside before masking up and entering the club for the formal program.
"Over a quarter century, this tournament has raised more than $7.5 million for El Camino Health programs, including the RotaCare Free Clinic, Health Library & Resource Center, ASPIRE adolescent mental health program, Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular Institute, Taft Center for Clinical Research, and Peter C. Fung, MD Stroke Center," longtime tournament chair Ken King told the guests as he thanked them for their support. CEO Dan Woods spoke about the challenges posed by COVID-19 and praised the hospitals' exemplary staff, noting that this year also marks El Camino Health's 60th anniversary. Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular Institute Medical Director Fred St. Goar, MD, and Cardiopulmonary Wellness Center Medical Director Neal Scott, MD talked about the impact of the unique and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program and then introduced an inspirational video testimonial by a grateful patient. The event concluded with the presentation of trophies and showing of a lively, fun-filled day-of video.
COVID safety was of paramount concern throughout the day. All guests, staff, and volunteers had to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within three days of the tournament. Masks were required at all times indoors.
"We were thrilled to celebrate this milestone event in person and to successfully raise needed dollars for an important but under-resourced hospital program that helps so many community members," says El Camino Health Foundation President Andrew Cope. "It was a great day for a great cause."