The March 30 eighth-annual Del Mar Country Club Golf Tournament and Dinner-Gala, which included a live and silent auction, raised $1.5 million to assist Navy SEALs and their families through the SOF Support Foundation. Former 60 Minutes reporter and long-time network news war correspondent Lara Logan, and Navy Vice Admiral (Ret.) David Buss were the evening’s keynote speakers.
“This is San Diego, it’s who we are,” said event co-host and owner of the Del Mar Country Club, Madeleine Pickens. “We are the Navy, we are the Marines, we are the Navy SEALs and these men and women who defend us, they’re still at war and have been for 18 years and their families suffer as a result of it. We’re delighted to be able to do this and the loyalty to the event is incredible. San Diego is an incredible city and to see everyone rally together to raise so much money for our servicemen and women is amazing to see. We love our troops and anything we can do for them is so important.”
Celebrities from sports, entertainment and the media, along with many of the nation’s most-prominent military figures, came together for the event, which included an 18-hole golf scramble on the famed course at the Del Mar Country Club, followed by the dinner-gala and auction.
The live and silent auction, which featured a host of limited-edition specialty items and once-in-a-lifetime experiential opportunities, was a roaring success. Two Labrador Retriever puppies from Trident Manor Kennels netted close to $100,000, while a private trip to the Mustang Monument and Eco-Resort and Preserve in Wells, Nevada, owned by Pickens, netted nearly an additional $100,000. A trip to New York City that included tickets to the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament and VIP tickets to a Mets-Chicago Cubs game at Citi Field with former Mets pitcher Jesse Orosco brought in another $50,000, while a dinner for 10 with retired NFL All-Pro Michael Strahan at the Pamplemousse Grille that was donated by SOF Support Foundation Board Member Jeffrey Strauss went for more than $30,000.
“Thanks to the selfless generosity of our loyal supporters who support this incredible event year after year, we’re going to be able to further expand our mental-health and family-counseling programs for the men and women who defend our country and so badly need it,” added SOF Support Foundation Vice Chairperson Dominique Plewes.
The golf tournament and dinner-gala was co-hosted by Pickens & Plewes, owners of the Del Mar Country Club, Geniya & “Papa” Doug Manchester, and Jenny Craig. It was presented by The Del Mar Country Club, American Airlines and Kern & Company.
The SOF Support Foundation’s mission is to help ensure American special operations forces and their families receive the support they need to effectively carry out their operations, keep their families intact, and lead healthy and productive lives after they have left our nation's service.
For more information, visit www.delmarsealevent.org.