HOPE’s 10th Annual Charity Golf Classic Raises More than $180K to Create Homes for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
by IAN NEVAREZ
Long Beach—On a beautiful Monday morning in November, Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment, Inc. (HOPE) hosted its 10th Annual Charity Golf Classic at Virginia Country Club in Long Beach. With over 30 sponsors, including a $15k sponsor California MENTOR and five $10k sponsors City National Bank, Patricia Del Monico, Ambitions CA, Integrated Life, and Social Vocation Services, this event raised more than $180K to provide stable, affordable homes for adults with developmental disabilities.
The theme of this year’s event was Creating Independence. Funds raised will go toward providing homes that empower those who are most vulnerable in our society to become valuable, contributing members of their communities. HOPE believes that housing is foundational in everyone’s life and when our residents are no longer forced to worry about where they will live and sleep, their energies–and savings–can be freed to focus on work, school, volunteer service, and fostering social relationships.
This sold-out event saw 144 golfers from the local business and philanthropic communities come together in competition to support this vital cause. Tournament Committee Member Forrest Riopelle of City National Bank spoke on why this event is so meaningful, “I personally, and City National Bank, have supported HOPE for years because we believe that the work they’re doing is essential to creating opportunities for people with developmental disabilities." He continued, "Their mission is also just great for the community, as their homes end up being the most beautiful and well-maintained properties on a block.”
This event culminated in a tournament dinner, emceed by ABC7 Sports Anchor Rob Fukuzaki, with guest speaker Cristina Sanz from the award-winning A&E docuseries, “Born This Way.” Cristina discussed how housing was instrumental in her personal growth. “My biggest dream is to be independent,” Cristina said. “And thanks to HOPE I am living my dream. When I was young, I dreamed of my own apartment. That dream became real nine months ago when I moved into my HOPE home.”
Since establishing the tournament ten years ago, HOPE has raised more than $1.2M to support affordable housing projects. This funding has a very real impact on our mission. During the evening dinner program, HOPE Executive Director Kristin Martin announced the progress made over the past several years to close in on an important organization goal. “I am happy to update you today that because of your support in recent years, HOPE has reached 88% of our 2014 goal to house 80 additional residents by the end of 2018. To date, we have created homes for 71 residents since 2014.” Once completed, this achievement will have nearly doubled HOPE's housing capacity over a four year period.
This day would not have been possible without the golfers, dinner attendees, sponsors, donors, and community volunteers who came together to make this event one of the premier charitable golf tournaments in the region. More than fifty volunteers from all across Los Angeles County serve at the event in registration, as cashiers, on the course, and in raffle ticket sales. “Day of” donations at the tournament surpassed $15K due to their passionate efforts.
Community members interested in supporting the mission of HOPE can find out more information on how to volunteer, attend future events, or donate to our End-of-Year Giving Campaign at www.hope-homes.org.