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Editorial: Care goes into tourney, comes out too

March 13, 2010

It was only a week ago today that golfer Fred Couples stole the show at the Toshiba Classic. He earned himself a $255,500 check and the adoration of golf fans who crowded the Newport Beach Country Club to see him and other golfing legends fight for every hole. But the benefits of another great tournament are still lingering in the way of college scholarships for area high school students and donations to Hoag Memorial Presbyterian, Newport Beach’s marquee hospital.

To us, the tournament is less about dazzling play, six-figure paychecks and rubbing elbows with celebrity golfers, and more about charity, community pride, education, volunteerism and health.

Hoag received a contribution of $900,000 for the Cancer Center, Heart & Vascular Institute, Neuroscience Institute, Orthopedic Services and Women’s Health Services. And that is only this year’s gift.

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Contributions to Hoag have totaled $13 million over the last 13 years of the tournament. Whether it’s to treat diabetes, heart disease or provide preventive care, we are confident that Hoag will continue to put its donations to good use.

The event also provides $10,000 college scholarships to Orange County students — money that is appreciated in an era of rising tuition and depleted college savings accounts tied to rocky financial markets.

Students who received the awards expressed immense gratitude at a pre-tournament breakfast featuring golfer Corey Pavin. A class act in his own right, he has made regular trips to Iraq to support American troops and teach golf clinics — not at a swanky U.S. country club, but on the edges of a war zone.

Still, it is professional-level golf that makes the scholarships and hospital contributions possible. The Champions Tour attracts players fans want to see, many whom are just recently off the PGA Tour. Because players like Couples and Pavin come to Newport, our community benefits from every stroke.

The Toshiba Classic may provide a week of excitement, but more importantly, it provides lasting change.


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