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Survivor's short game

June 08, 2005

Lindsay Sandham

After defeating breast cancer not once, but twice, Costa Mesa's Cindy

Thomsen knew she had to do something to give back.

Having personally benefited from the awareness generated by the

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Thomsen decided her

fundraising efforts would go there.

Thomsen said she wanted to combine two of her greatest passions in

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life -- golfing and wine. Three years ago, the Reds, Whites and

Greens Charity Golf Classic was born.

The event, which will be held at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in

Mission Viejo tomorrow, raised close to $80,000 in its first two

years. Thomsen said she expects it to bring in $70,000 this year.

The golf tournament brings in money in several ways. Each of the

144 golfers pays $195 to play, and guests who attend the dinner

portion will fork over $50. There will also be a silent wine auction

and one featuring golf package getaways, monthly massages for a year

and baseball tickets.

Thomsen said between corporate sponsorships, cash donations and

players' fees, this year's Golf Classic has raised $48,500 for the

Komen foundation.

"We will know exactly how much money was raised that night,"

Thomsen said. After dinner, a formal check presentation is made to

the foundation in front of everyone.

The event is unique in that there is an around-the-world wine

tasting on the course, with a red and white wine from a different

country featured at every third hole.

Thomsen, an avid golfer with a handicap of eight, took up the

sport in her early 20s when she worked for an ad agency in Chicago.

She said she noticed all the men would frequently leave work early.

When she realized they were leaving to play golf, she decided to

take it up.

Coincidentally, it was around the same time that she became

somewhat of a wine connoisseur.

Her affinity for golfing and wine, along with her background in

advertising and marketing, made organizing a fundraiser like Reds,

Whites and Greens fairly easy.

However, she said the eight weeks leading up to the event are

pretty intense.

"I haven't done anything to generate revenue for Cindy Thomsen in

the last eight weeks," she smiled. "I wouldn't have it any other way.

It is so much fun.

"I'm fortunate enough to where I survived -- not once, but twice.

I have the ability to make a difference, why wouldn't I do

something?"

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