17th Annual Proton Charity Invitational raises $100,000 for Ken Venturi Endowed Chair
Ken Venturi describes his philosophy for improving a player’s chipping in golf during the morning clinic. “Get the ball onto the green as fast as you can,” he says.
At the 17th Annual Proton Charity Invitational, 128 golfers took to the course at The Club at Morningside in Rancho Mirage to spend a day in fellowship and raising money for proton therapy research. The event took place on Monday, May 21, and garnered $100,000 for the Ken Venturi Endowed Chair for Proton Therapy Research. The large success of the golf tournament comes from the support of participants, sponsors, and host and chair namesake, Ken Venturi.
All proceeds from the Invitational support cancer research that impacts patient treatments with proton radiation therapy.
“We in the department of radiation medicine are grateful to so many who helped to make this and previous Invitationals possible,” says Jerry D. Slater, MD, chair of the department of radiation medicine at LLUMC.
“I extend special thanks to you, the participants and sponsors. After all, you donate time and money to take part in this event. By doing so you help us to further improve proton radiation therapy.”
Invitational host Ken Venturi, assisted by PGA player and long-time supporter of the tournament, John Cook, presented a golf clinic focusing on chipping in the morning just before the tournament started, offering tips and humorous stories from his time on the tour both as a player and commentator.
Mr. Venturi, a retired CBS Sports golf analyst, has been involved with the Invitational since it began in 1991. Mr. Venturi served as the longest-standing golf analyst on television an
Kent Hanson (center), director of golf for the Club at Morningside, is presented with a special thanks for sponsoring the Proton Charity Invitational by Ken Venturi (left) and John Cook.
d is an acknowledged master of his craft.
In 2000, Mr. Venturi had what he calls the “crowning achievement” of his career. He was captain of the U.S. team that reclaimed the President’s Cup, doing so with the largest margin of victory in international team competition since 1967.
Mr. Venturi has a personal association with the Proton Treatment Center, becoming a patient in 2001, 10 years after he began promoting the Invitational.
“Loma Linda has a very special place in my heart,” he says. “As long as the tournament is here and Loma Linda is here, I’ll be here.”
At the awards luncheon following the tournament, B. Lyn Behrens, MBBS, president and CEO of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, thanked Mr. Venturi for leaving a legacy that will affect people in a positive way for years to come.
“We have a unique opportunity to offer a beam of hope to patients,” says Dr. Behrens. “It goes beyond hope to the reality of healing thanks to Dr. James Slater, Dr. Venturi, and Mr. Cook. Thank you.”
In his closing remarks, Mr. Venturi expressed his gratitude to the participants and staff at Loma Linda.
“It all boils down to one thing: None of this would be possible without all of you the players,” says Mr. Venturi. “My real heroes are those who spend every day all year helping others. As I keep saying, it’s not what you take with you, but what you leave behind. You have all left a very special legacy behind by participating.”
By Preston Clarke Smith
The winning team of David Bush, MD, Vicki Bush, Jerry Slater, MD, and Shelley Slater with a net score of 53.6, receives the first place net trophies from Ken Venturi, John Cook, and James Slater, MD.
With a score of 59, Brandon Hillpot, Kevin Lang, Bryan Wallace, and Greg Wallace receive first place gross trophies from Ken Venturi, John Cook, James Slater, MD, and Jerry Slater, MD.