The Crowd: Professional Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els to headline Hoag Classic return


Jeff Purserexecutive director of Hoag Charity Sports and his team are making final arrangements for the scheduled return of the Hoag Classic to Newport Beach Country Club during the first week of March with a championship tournament March 6-8.

The golf event was seriously missed during the pandemic; it’s a shining star of community support for Hoag, shines a light on the professional golf played in the CO and is seen nationwide. According to Purser, the 2022 tournament will return with a record purse of $2 million on the PGA Tour Champions schedule.

This year, as with previous outings at NBCC, the week-long event will include Military Appreciation Day, Student Day, among special programs planned to reach out to the community. Such special programming will be sponsored and underwritten by a host of title sponsors led by Hoag as title sponsor. Among those generous are Konica Minolta, City National Bank, Kingston Technology, Surgical Theater and Allergan, to name a few.

Local citizens joining the ranks of corporate sponsors include Alan Adams, Hank Adler, Tail and Hyla Bertea, Alain Beyer, Bob and Terry Callahan, Jim and Viki Coufos, Bob Sorosky, David Wheeler and Young Burton.

Other pros expected on the field for the Classic include Billy Andrade, John Cook, John Daly, Jay Haas, Bernard Langer, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Loren Roberts, Vijay Singh and Kirk Triplet.

Originally launched as the Senior PGA Tour in 1995, the tournament’s history began with play at Mesa Verde Country Club, Costa Mesa. Toshiba has sponsored the event for 23 seasons. In 2019, Hoag Hospital took over title sponsorship. This year’s event marks the 26th golf outing of Orange County’s only professional tournament.

As March arrives with the COVID pressure hopefully easing, crowds will come out practicing safe social distancing and protocols still under discussion to ensure the ideal tournament experience. The Hoag Classic will be featured by Ernie ElsWorld Golf Hall of Famer joined by a list at this time that includes Jim Furik, Steve Strickler and David Durall. Many other players have yet to be confirmed.

Jeff Purser and Duffy Waldorf at the 2020 Hoag Classic held at the Newport Beach Country Club.

(Courtesy of Hoag Classic, 2020)

Perhaps most significant is the role this championship golf course plays in supporting Hoag Hospital and community health as a whole, in addition to many other important local needs and non-profits. Purser, who has been running the event since 1998, has raised over $21 million. A pre-pandemic stop, the Hoag Classic became the first championship on the senior circuit to raise $1 million for charity in a year.

To learn more about the Hoag Classic, including tickets and admission policies, visit

Bringing Live Theater Back to CO

The much-admired, longtime Laguna Playhouse begins 2022 with a $50,000 grant awarded to the theater organization through Orange County District 5’s Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Program .

CO supervisor Lisa Bartlett was instrumental in securing this grant for the Playhouse. Her work grew out of a personal connection to arts education and performance in the community.

“In 2020, many of the 5th District’s 5th Arts-Related Grant Program arts-related businesses and nonprofits used U.S. Bailout funding to provide much-needed financial assistance to eligible arts organizations in my district” , Bartlett said. “In 2020, Laguna Playhouse was set to celebrate its 100th anniversary, but unfortunately was forced to cancel its centennial gala and theater season due to the pandemic. As such, it was my great pleasure to present Laguna Playhouse with a check for $50,000 this week to help support its many wonderful theater performances, programs and events in the future.

Erin O'Flaherty, Lisa Bartlett, Executive Director Ellen Richard and Board Member Heidi Miller with a grant check for $50,000.

Erin O’Flaherty, Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Laguna Playhouse General Manager Ellen Richard and Board Member Heidi Miller with a $50,000 grant check to support the work of Laguna Playhouse.

(Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse)

Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard added, “The Laguna Playhouse Board and all constituents are very grateful to Lisa Bartlett and the Board of Supervisors for the level of support for the Playhouse and all of the arts in Orange County. This funding comes at a critical time as we recover from our extended shutdown. »

Making a real difference for 45 children

With the arrival of January, a post-holiday good deed echoes through the streets and alleys of Orange County in neighborhoods from Costa Mesa to Santa Ana dealing with children living in difficult economic circumstances.

In December, Marc Ontiveroslocal community activist and donor to the non-profit Serving People In Need (SPIN) of Costa Mesa, called on his son and their friends and colleagues to build and assemble 45 bikes purchased from Amazon by Ontiveros and his company Audio Images to be donated by SPIN to local children in need.

Audio Images employees assembling bikes to donate to Serving People In Need.

Audio Images employees assemble bikes to donate to Serving People In Need and distribute them to children in underserved areas of OC

(Courtesy audio images)

The crew spent hours working together to finish the bikes in time for Christmas, while preparing some 200 hygiene kits to distribute as well, along with locks and safety helmets.

Ontiveros was praised by other SPIN donors at an end-of-year dinner held at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Corona del Mar. Stephanie SmolkinCEO of SPIN, joined Kim Frazier, Director of Events and Special Services, in commending Ontiveros for his “hands-on personal generosity that has made a huge difference in the lives of 45 CO children” SPIN ended 2021 serving more than 750 families with children rescued from the homelessness in this community. To learn more about SPIN’s work, visit

Mark Ontiveros and his son Henry are working with colleagues at Audio Images to assemble 45 bikes.

Mark Ontiveros and his son, Henry, are working with colleagues at Audio Images to assemble 45 bikes that will be distributed by SPIN to local children in need.

(Courtesy audio images)

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