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Allison Bracy of Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt hadn’t played golf in a long time, and when she rolled out with one of the teams for the recent 6th Annual Champions of Golf Classic at Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry, she admittedly felt a little rusty.
“That was a foul,” she said, when the ball banked in the direction of the trees. “That was another foul,” she said, when her next drive sent the ball nearly straight up in the air. But by the end of the day, Bracy’s team was singing her praises. She and the other 143 golfers who participated in the tournament raised a significant sum to help fund Brotherhood Crusade and Zeta Rho Foundation's academic improvement, character development and mentoring programs from Pasadena to Long Beach.
The events got underway around 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, leading up to the 12:30 tee-off amid a gorgeous landscape of 18 holes, where competitors spent the better part of five hours trying to best one another—for charity of course.
Between entry fees from the golfers, a silent auction and raffles, the sold-out event brought in funds for Brotherhood Crusade and Zeta Rho—an L.A. chapter of the national Omega Psi Phi fraternity—which divide the proceeds and direct them towards programs that serve their respective constituencies.
Danny Bakewell Sr., chairman of the board for the Brotherhood Crusade, complimented the organizations for partnering and “being about the work… What better purpose can we have for getting together?" he said, adding: "I applaud Charisse Bremond Weaver and the board members of the Zeta Rho Foundation for keeping the fires burning.”
Sponsors donated such sports memorabilia as a basketball signed by Michael Jordan, tickets and backstage passes to a show by Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley, and a trip to the Caribbean. At a dinner following the tournament, participants bid on those items in silent and live auctions.
“The Brotherhood Crusade was honored to be part of this,” said Charisse Bremond-Weaver, who is the president and CEO of Brotherhood Crusade. “Zeta Rho Foundation is the best partner; they love the community as much we do, and have the same commitment to our youth.”
The Zeta Rho 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, he added: “We stress homework, grades, attendance and citizenship,” he said, “because if you come to school, do your homework and you’re not disruptive on a consistent basis, your academics will improve.”
Brotherhood Crusade also engages youth by tapping into their interests in sports and education with their Soccer for Success, Thinkfinity Bowl, BioFuture initiative (STEM education), Youth WorkSource Center and Books and Basketball Camp.
“We believe in their mission, and all that these organizations do for youth in the community," said Aura McCracken of AEG, one of the golf tournament sponsors, who was on her way to the course. "They’re making a difference.”
Besides AEG, sponsors for the event included AECOM, Advance America, American Honda Motor Co. Inc, BA Associates, Bank of America, BCD Travel, City National Bank, Canon, David Wright, Delta Airlines, Edison, Enterprise, Hilton, Los Angeles Sentinel, Marriott Torrance, Nestle USA, Oce, Parking Spot, Southern California Gas Company, Southwest Airlines, UDW AFSCME Local 3930, US Bank and Verizon.