Behind the Scenes Support
Thousands of golfers will tee it up at a charity golf event to benefit a worthy cause each year. But it’s those who remain behind-the-scenes we forget to thank, as they put in a tremendous amount of hours finding volunteers, donations, sponsors and community support in order to run these events successfully.
That’s the role longtime SCGA member Michael Joseph plays with the annual Los Angeles Marine Scholarship Golf Tournament, which was formed in 1984 to support the Marine Corps family within the greater Los Angeles area.
“Michael has spearheaded the fundraising for the event since 2001,” said Jerry Waletzko, the SCGA delegate for Old Ranch CC, where the tournament is held.
“Responsible for event coordination, Michael makes things happen with his energy and enthusiasm,” said Doug Hamlin, tournament co-chairman. “He’s been able to recruit members from his home club [Old Ranch CC] to participate and we sell out nearly every year.”
And with Michael’s help the tournament has raised more than $200,000 for two Marine charities, The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and The Devil Pups Youth Program for America since its inception.
“I want to continue having my freedoms,” said Michael. “I wasn’t able to serve in the Marines due to physical limitations, so I wanted to give back in some way. I started playing in the event and then joined the committee to become more involved.”
The Devil Pups Youth for America program is based out of Camp Pendleton and is designed to help build the self-confidence of teenagers ages 14-17 from all backgrounds by learning to take responsibility for their actions. The program gives participants 10 days of challenging exercises to build teamwork, discipline and leadership. More than 51,000 Devil Pups have graduated from the program since 1954.
“It’s a great program that makes a big impact on the lives of these teenagers,” says Michael. “At the end of the week, they all learn something new about themselves.”
The tournament also sends donations to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which awarded more than $6 million in need-based scholarships last year alone.
“I’ve been fortunate to live a good life and wanted to give back to my community,” said Michael. “I just feel that when you can make a personal connection with something, you need to take action. I’m glad I did that 13 years ago.”