Soboba Foundation tees off for charities

Soboba Foundation members from left, Geneva Mojado, Sally Ortiz, Isaiah Vivanco, Patrick Placencia and Dondi Silvas. Rodrigo Pena photo.
Soboba Foundation members from left, Geneva Mojado, Sally Ortiz, Isaiah Vivanco, Patrick Placencia and Dondi Silvas. Rodrigo Pena photo.

HEMET – The fifth annual Soboba Foundation & Soboba Casino Charity Golf Tournament provided $70,000 to seven local nonprofits chosen as beneficiaries earlier this year. More than 100 volunteers assisted 216 players who golfed throughout the day at the Soboba Springs Country Club in San Jacinto Friday, April 7.

“We could not have done this without the support of the tribe, staff, community, sponsors and volunteers,” said Isaiah Vivanco, Soboba Tribal Vice Chairman and Foundation Board Member. “We are thankful for an increase in involvement over the past few years and for all those that help provide us this great opportunity to give back to the community.”

The nonprofits that benefited from the tournament were Boxing for Christ, Community Pantry, EXCEED, Friends of Valley Wide Foundation, San Jacinto Unified School District, Valley Queens Scholarship Foundation and V.I.P. Tots.

Soboba Foundation President Sally Ortiz thoroughly enjoyed her day on the course.

San Jacinto Unified School District was one of seven nonprofits that benefited from the annual golf tournament at Soboba Springs. From left, Sally Ortiz, Isaiah Vivanco, Dondi Silvas, Geneva Mojado, SJUSD Superintendent Diane Perez and Patrick Placencia. Rodrigo Pena photo.
San Jacinto Unified School District was one of seven nonprofits that benefited from the annual golf tournament at Soboba Springs. From left, Sally Ortiz, Isaiah Vivanco, Dondi Silvas, Geneva Mojado, SJUSD Superintendent Diane Perez and Patrick Placencia. Rodrigo Pena photo.

“The weather really cooperated and the tournament felt much more relaxed this year,” she said. “As we learn ways to improve, we grow and we continue to do better.”

Soboba Foundation Vice President Geneva Mojado said the event is growing each year with more participants than there is space for. She is hopeful that the replacement casino and venue will allow them to host a two-day long tournament, helping even more nonprofits.

“The greens are amazing this year,” she said. “All the players were very impressed with the course.”

Patrick Placencia, the foundation’s treasurer, said it was a beautiful day of golf for a great cause.

NFL star, Christian “The Nigerian Nightmare” Okoye, gives autographed footballs to Soboba Tribal Vice Chairman and Soboba Foundation board member Isaiah Vivanco to be auctioned off at the fifth annual charity golf tournament Friday, April 7. Rodrigo Pena photo.
NFL star, Christian “The Nigerian Nightmare” Okoye, gives autographed footballs to Soboba Tribal Vice Chairman and Soboba Foundation board member Isaiah Vivanco auctioned off at the fifth annual charity golf tournament Friday, April 7. Rodrigo Pena photo.

“It’s so nice to see such involvement from all the volunteers and everyone who contributed,” he said. “You can tell by the big turnout and the many great items provided for auction that the tournament’s success results from all of the terrific support.”

Auction items that fetched about $10,000, included autographed football helmets and jerseys from Oakland Raiders’ Bo Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles’ Vince Papale and San Francisco 49ers’ Jerry Rice. An autographed machete from Danny Trejo (“Danny Trejo as Machete”) and a signed black leather motorcycle jacket and “Sons of Anarchy” poster from Ryan Hurst were among the most popular items.

But the highlight was a basket hand-woven by Steven Estrada, Tribal Chairman of the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians. He spent more than 300 hours creating the Cahuilla coiled basket that has a whirlwind design with butterflies. It is made from natural juncus with dyed juncus and sumac for the design elements. After a bidding war, it sold for $5,000, which made this the highest bid for any auction item.

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