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(l-r): Mykol Lewis, John Harris, Cedric the Entertainer, Charisse Bremond-Weaver, Danny J. Bakewell Sr., George Weaver and Eric Aguiar. Golf Event Raises Money for Education The Champions of Education golf tournament held in the City of Industry Friday, September 9 attracted celebrities, along with those who shined behind the scenes.Comedian Cedric the Entertainer, who hosts NBC’s “It’s Worth What?” and Calvin Sweeney, a former wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, were among more than 100 golfers who turned up at the Pacific Palms Resort to support the event, which benefits the Brotherhood Crusade and Zeta Rho Foundation. Sponsors included Enterprise Rent-A-Car , Honda and Verizon.“The Brotherhood Crusade was honored to be part of this,” said Charisse Bremond-Weaver, who is the president and CEO of Brotherhood Crusade. “The event sold out with 144 golfers this year. Zeta Rho Foundation is the best partner; they love the community as much we do, and have the same commitment to our youth.”Between entry fees, a silent auction of such sponsor-donated goodies as sports memorabilia, airline trips and flat-screen TVs, along with various raffles, the fifth-annual tournament raised upwards of $75,000. The two organizations will divide the proceeds, which will go to scholarships, mentoring and other key programs that serve their respective constituencies.By 11 a.m. Friday morning, leading up to the 12:30 tee-off, the buzz was electric along the corridor that houses the resort’s Pro Shop as golfers signed in, paid to enter a pool to win golf clubs or an iPad, and assembled with their four member teams to head out and get situated in golf carts.Then they started their “engines,” and headed out into the lush landscape for the first of 18 holes, spending the better part of the next six hours trying to beat the pants off the other competitors—or at least to have a few laughs. “To be able to fund scholarships that help young folks get to school and do greater things is so important,” said Cedric the Entertainer. “It’s great to be out here enjoying the day, and knowing that you contributed.” When asked about his golf game, Cedric joked: “You can’t ask a man about his golf game! That’s like asking a woman her age.”The funds raised will help Zeta Rho Foundation, which is an L.A. chapter of the national Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and Brotherhood Crusade support such existing programs as the foundation’s mentoring program, and the Crusade’s Books and Basketball Camp.The fraternity brothers mentor African-American males in several area schools, where they go in and seek to develop a rapport, said James Breedlove, who is president of Zeta Rho. “We share with the students, try to be accessible, and take them on field trips to sporting events and to the theater. If they have a deficit, we can match them with a tutor.”But the focus is less on tutoring, and more on conduct: “We stress homework, grades, attendance and citizenship,” Breedlove added, “because if you come to school, do your homework and you’re not disruptive on a consistent basis, your academics will improve.”
Crusade also engages youth by tapping into their interests in sports with their new soccer program, which expands this fall into four elementary schools, as well as their longer-running Books and Basketball Camp, known for providing a full a week of instruction on such topics as financial literacy and, of course, taking it to the hoop.
Zeta Rho and Brotherhood Crusade often attend each other events, and plan to come together on various project in the future. Zeta Rho, at their June scholarship dinner, honored Charisse Bremond-Weaver and George Weaver, her husband and special program administrator for the Crusade.
Said Weaver: “I think the real story lies in the commitment our two organizations have to ensuring male youth are given every opportunity to succeed. And as much as these men and women enjoy playing golf and living ‘the good life,’ he added, “their desire to change the trajectory of failure and incarceration of our youth is significantly greater.”