Golf Tournament Raises Funds for South Pasadena Self-Built Float

Tournament of Roses Golf Tournament is a South Pasadena Tradition

PHOTO: Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | Team MIJARES/Paradise Construction took first place at the SPTOR Golf Tournament. Pictured are Jon Ruiz, Jaiden Ruiz, Ralf Durham and Kylan Gamell.
PHOTO: Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | Team MIJARES/Paradise Construction took first place at the SPTOR Golf Tournament. Pictured are Jon Ruiz, Jaiden Ruiz, Ralf Durham and Kylan Gamell.

More than 100 players took part in the Golf Tournament fundraiser June 17 for the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR) organization. The site was the Arroyo Seco Golf Course in the city and the start time was 8 a.m. After a foggy early morning and after weeks of overcast skies, the sun came out for the event and temperatures rose into the 70s.

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | South Pasadena’s Griffins of Kinsale team members playing a hole are (L-R) Dan Cooley, Daniel Griffin, Emiliano Freidmann and Kevin Griffin.

The tournament is one of the major fundraisers held during the year to pay for the expenses of building and decorating the city’s self-built float that appears in the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade Jan. 1. The yearly cost for float-building steel and supplies, flowers and other materials is more than $140,000 per year, according to SPTOR committee members.

PHOTO: Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | Mayor Jon Primuth (second from right) poses for a photo with South Pasadena Police Department golf team members (L-R) Allison Wehrle, management analyst; Bob Bartl, sergeant, retired; Brian Solinsky, chief; and Tyler Borrello, corporal.
PHOTO: Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | Mayor Jon Primuth (second from right) poses for a photo with South Pasadena Police Department golf team members (L-R) Allison Wehrle, management analyst; Bob Bartl, sergeant, retired; Brian Solinsky, chief; and Tyler Borrello, corporal.

SPTOR Golf Tournament Chair Alan Vlacich said that “roughly 15% of the final float budget” will be raised from the golf tournament. The remainder comes from such fundraisers as the recently organized yard sale and a “crunch time” party held on Jan. 29 just prior to the parade, and other sources. He added that all the labor involved is voluntary.

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PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | Mary Genovia (L) and Sharon Oda celebrate at a hole at the golf tournament. They represent the Woman’s Club of South Pasadena and Alhambra High School alumni.
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | Mary Genovia (L) and Sharon Oda celebrate at a hole at the golf tournament. They represent the Woman’s Club of South Pasadena and Alhambra High School alumni.

Almost 30 teams completed the 18-hole course over several hours. They  then sat down at the site to lunch from Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta Restaurant. Trophies were awarded and raffle winners were announced.

 

PHOTO: The Azat Companies | The South Pasadenan | The Gold Sponsor Azat Team at the tournament consisted of Nathan Bennet, Aram Yashu, Issa Azat, Mike Azat, Joseph Hogan, and Arturo Sandoval.
PHOTO: The Azat Companies | The South Pasadenan | The Gold Sponsor Azat Team at the tournament consisted of Nathan Bennet, Aram Yashu, Issa Azat, Mike Azat, Joseph Hogan, and Arturo Sandoval.

The team sponsored by MIJARES/Paradise Construction won first place. The group was also a previous first-place winner. Ryan Sakamoto’s team came in second, and Steve Martinez’s team was third. Andrew Trudnowski and Monique Maling won trophies for shooting closest to a designated hole. No one won the $10,000 prize for a hole-in-one at hole #17 offered by Mamma’s Brick Over Pizza & Pasta.

Several players remarked that even without winning, they had a wonderful time playing golf with friends, family and coworkers.

“We came nowhere close to placing,” said Mike Azat of Azat Properties and Azat Law Group, a gold sponsor, in an email after the event, “but we had a blast and very much appreciate Mr. Alan Vlacich on behalf of the SPTOR for putting on a great tournament and a great time . . . . Looking forward to next year.”

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | Enjoying the sunny day on the course are (L-R) Alberto Ocon, Ericka Giordano, and Monique and David Maling.
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | Enjoying the sunny day on the course are (L-R) Alberto Ocon, Ericka Giordano, and Monique and David Maling.

Vlacich explained that the event has become a tradition since it began in 1988. “It’s a way that people can have fun for a common goal with family or friends,” he said by phone following it. “There’s a lot of tradition where people return year after year.”

“It’s a way those connected to South Pasadena, whether as residents, former residents or businesses,” he said, “can show their support and work together to raise funds for an important purpose — the continuation of the oldest self-built float in the parade.”

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | Eric Nordvedt holds the pole for fellow golfer Mike Bernardi while (L-R) Dan Burr and Shawn Kiser look on.

Shaw, Moses, Mendenhall Insurance in South Pasadena was the tournament’s major sponsor. Ted Shaw, former head of the company who passed away in 2020, was a longtime supporter of the float. This year, some 50 businesses and individuals purchased Tee signs with their names on them. They were placed at holes throughout the course.

“The signs are being returned to the businesses,” Vlacich said, “for them to place in their windows to demonstrate to customers their support for the home-town float.” Sponsors included realtors and owners of restaurants, local shops and a variety of other businesses.

Sponsors included Trader Joe’s and Krispy Kreme of South Pasadena. They provided doughnuts, coffee, water and snack bars to golfers as they arrived at the course starting at 7 a.m.

Vlacich expressed appreciation to the committee that helped hold the event. Members of it were Sandy Fielding, Sally Kilby, Kris Maines, Peter Owens, Courtney Quinn and Carrie Russell.