Local nonprofits benefit from annual event ◆ By Mike Hiles
Many local nonprofits are constantly worried about dwindling funds for start-up costs of new projects and growing budgets for continuing successful programs. Seven lucky organizations will have a little less stress this year thanks to the sixth annual Soboba Foundation & Soboba Casino Charity Golf Tournament.
"Due to the continued support and gracious contributions by Soboba Foundation’s partners, the program will be able to once again assist others who are in need. In the past five years, the charity golf tournament has provided more than $750,000 in support to many local nonprofits throughout Indian Country and Southern California," said Andrew Vallejos, who works with the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians’ sponsorship and higher education departments.
This year, the Soboba Foundation is pleased to announce that due to the popularity of the much-anticipated event, the tournament has expanded to two days of teeing off with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. on April 3 and 4. The Country Club at Soboba Springs will once again host the tournament, with a maximum of 36 teams per day.
"This will allow more golfers an opportunity to enjoy the entirety of the course and all the festivities to follow," Vallejos said. Participation is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is encouraged.
Players and community members can get involved by signing up for several different options. The Premium Package will provide four entries into the tournament, four $600 shopping experience gift cards, four premium gift packages, four vouchers for $100 free slot play at Soboba Casino and a Tee Sign acknowledging their involvement, all for $6,000. A Single Package for $2,000 will provide one entry into the tournament, a $200 shopping experience gift card, a premium gift package and one $50 free slot play voucher for the casino.
In addition, there are tee-green sponsor opportunities for $750 each and any cash or in-kind gift donations will be most welcomed.
"We could not do this without the support of the tribe, staff, community, sponsors and volunteers," Soboba Foundation President Sally Ortiz said. "We are thankful for all those that help provide us this terrific opportunity to give back to the community."
The trickle-down effect of giving back is felt throughout the community all year long. A couple of past tournament beneficiaries – The Friends of Valley-Wide Foundation and V.I.P. Tots – touch the lives of many youth in the San Jacinto Valley.
The Friends' mission is "to sustain the recreational and outreach programs for the youth served by the Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District" and thanks to Soboba, more than 375 children benefitted from scholarships that were funded through the charity golf tournament.
V.I.P. Tots has been serving children since 1979 and is known for its engaging, inclusive environment where young children learn – and adults have access to – positive solutions for supporting children from birth through age six, with and without special needs.
The learning center wanted to incorporate a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) themed playground at its Hemet location but didn’t have the funding. Thanks to the Soboba Foundation, the school was able to upgrade its playground equipment to include items that will promote early learning activities in the fields of math and science and further promote STEM and literacy.
Soboba Tribal Council Vice Chairman and Soboba Foundation member, Isaiah Vivanco, will serve as tournament director once again. He works closely with other Foundation members to ensure everything runs smoothly and everyone involved has a good time – from more than 100 volunteers to the many players and guests that attend.
Information, Andrew Vallejos at 951-654-2765, ext. 4112, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at Soboba Foundation Annual Charity Golf Tournament.