SAN DIEGO — About 130 golfers, some from as far away as Asia, teed off Aug. 29 at Del Mar Country Club for the sixth annual Cricket Charity Golf Tournament to benefit programs at Rady Children’s Hospital.
The all-volunteer event was started in 2005 by Sergio Garcia, senior director of devices for Cricket Wireless, after his wife, Lorena, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I needed to find a way to help those less fortunate,” Garcia said. “So I reached out to the wireless community.”
Funds raised have gone to different charities in the past but this is the third consecutive year the event will benefit the H.O.P.E.S., or Hematology/Oncology Parents Extending Support, program at the Peckham Center for cancer and blood disorders.
H.O.P.E.S. provides financial assistance to families who cannot afford expenses not covered by insurance, as well as everything from wigs and food vouchers to a space heater for a home without heat.
The tournament also supports Rady Children’s Kawasaki disease, pulmonary, orthopedics and cranial facial programs.
“We’re grateful and ecstatic,” Mindy Collins, Rady’s director of corporate development, said.
“This company really understands our needs and wraps its arms around the hospital. We can’t thank them enough.”
It was the first year Doug Hutcheson, Cricket’s chief executive officer, was in town to attend the event.
“I was thinking about what my biggest contribution could be and decided it wasn’t my golf game,” Hutcheson told golfers before they headed out to the course. “I’ll be helping with marshaling so get rid of your erasers.”
The event culminated with a dinner, a silent auction, an awards presentation for contests held throughout the day and a raffle for a two-year lease on a 2011 Porsche.
The first tournament made about $40,000. This year the event took in $400,000.