Golf balls will rain down from the skies May 5, and prizes including a trip to Cabo will fall into the laps of lucky winners of the Brad Daluiso Golf Classic’s helicopter golf ball drop.
Now in its 14th year, the golf tournament is a daylong event at the Sycuan Golf & Tennis Resort hosted by the former NFL kicker and Grossmont College alum to raise funds for Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges’ athletics programs.
As competition draws to a close on the 18-hole championship golf course nestled in picturesque Dehesa Valley, as many as 2,000 golf balls purchased by donors are dropped from a helicopter hovering about 50 feet in the air. The lucky winner whose numbered ball lands in or closest to the hole – in this case, hole No. 1 at Willow Glen Golf Course – gets airfare and four night’s stay for two in an ocean-view deluxe room at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. The next closest balls will garner prizes including a Sonos Playbar, $1,000 Sprouts gift card, Padres tickets behind home plate and more.
And you don’t have to play in the tourney or be present to win – just donate $10 for one ball, $50 for six or $100 for 20. Register and pay online at www.foundation.gcccd.edu/bdgc . The deadline for online purchases is Thursday, May 4. Cash, credit cards and checks will be accepted for ball purchases at the tournament until 3 p.m.
The golf classic draws about 120 golfers annually and has raised more than $200,000 for college athletics and Exercise Science and Wellness programs. The event is sponsored by California Coast Credit Union, Sycuan Casino, and Sprouts Farmers Market. The event organizer is the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, the nonprofit organization that supports students, faculty and staff at both colleges through scholarships and educational equipment, supplies and programs.
“This is the third year for the helicopter drop, which has proven to be such a hit and a great way to raise money for the athletics programs,” said Daluiso, a member of the Foundation Council.
Ryan Schumacher, associate dean of athletics at Cuyamaca College, said the experience of student athletes at both colleges will be enhanced by tournament proceeds. More than 500 student athletes participate in intercollegiate sports at both colleges and about a quarter continue their athletic careers at the four-year level. For many students – particularly those with their eyes set on scholarship offers to universities or even careers as pro athletes – athletics is the draw to community college and what motivates them to earn good grades. For others, athletics is what gets them engaged in campus life.
“Cuyamaca College Athletics is excited to be a part of this amazing event,” Schumacher said. “Brad Daluiso has been a long-time friend of the district and we are proud to be a part of this partnership.”
The chopper and pilot are from Gillespie Field-based Raven Helicopters, and the balls are being provided by Sycuan. Resort staffers will also pick up the balls afterwards and report the winner.
For those interested in tournament play, the deadline to register is April 28. Check-in and a putting contest will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. shotgun start and lunch. The helicopter ball drop at 4 p.m. is followed by dinner and an awards ceremony and the event’s conclusion at 5 p.m.
Player spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The entry donation to play is $325 per person and $1,300 for a foursome. Golfers receive a gift bag, range balls, putting contest entry, 18 holes of golf with cart, lunch, opportunity drawing tickets, course contests and a buffet dinner.
Daluiso, who was introduced to collegiate football while he attended Grossmont College, said the golf tournament is his way of giving back to East County’s only public colleges and to lend support to student athletes.
Daluiso played football at Grossmont College until he graduated in 1988, and then went on to UCLA for two years before being drafted into the National Football League.He played the bulk of his 10-year career for the New York Giants and capped eight seasons in 2000 as the team’s all-time most accurate kicker and the second-leading scorer in the team’s history. After playing in two Super Bowls, he retired from football in 2001 after a stint with the Oakland Raiders.
In 2000, Daluiso was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award, presented to the team member displaying exemplary leadership, courage and community service. In 2012, he was selected as one of five outstanding community college alumni in the state by the Community College League of California. Today, Daluiso is a private wealth advisor with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management..
For more information about the golf classic and ball drop, contact Erich Foeckler at email@example.com or call the foundation at (619) 644-7652.