16th annual Proton Charity Invitational pushes Ken Venturi Endowed Chair for Proton Therapy Research to $2.5 million
James Slater, MD, stands behind Ken Venturi as he sits in the Ken Venturi Endowed Chair for Proton Therapy Research. The fund broke the $2.5 million mark at this year’s tournament.
Celebrating 16 years, 128 golfers paid a visit to The Club at Morningside in Rancho Mirage for the annual Proton Charity Invitational golf tournament on May 22. That Monday greeted golfers with uncharacteristically cool temperatures in the mid-90s, as opposed to the usual triple-digit temps recorded for the tournament, setting a pleasant tone for the day’s game.
The golfers came out in support of proton therapy research at Loma Linda University Medical Center, where the Ken Venturi Endowed Chair for Proton Therapy Research broke the $2.5-million mark with the proceeds from this year’s tournament. 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 mon
The winning net score of 52.4 garnered Fred Davis, Blake DeShields, Don Sease, and David Wooding the first place net trophies from Ken Venturi, John Cook, James Slater, MD, and Jerry Slater, MD.
ey to take part in this event. By doing so you help us to further improve proton radiation therapy.”
Invitational host Ken Venturi, along with PGA player and long-time supporter of the tournament John Cook, presented a golf clinic in the morning before the tournament started, with Mr. Venturi 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. He served as the longest-standing golf analyst on television and 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, as he became a patient in 2001, 10 years after he began promoting the invitational.
“Loma Linda has a very special place in my heart,” he said. “As long as the tournament is here and Loma Linda is here, I’ll be here.”
Ken Venturi, John Cook, James Slater, MD, and Jerry Slater, MD, award second place net trophies for a score of 54.7 to Mike Fontana, Jo Kilar, Steve Luchetta, and Randy Stephenson.
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, Mr. 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. And you have all left a very special legacy behind by participating.”
Closest to the Pin Awards
Golf for four at Desert Willow: Zareh Sarrafian (2’ 11”)
Trip from Carlson Wagonlit Travel/University Travel: Ed Rosenberg (8’)
$150 gift card to Nevada Bob’s: Dean Stordahl (7’ 1”)
$150 gift card to Nevada Bob’s: Bill Nietschmann (2’ 11.5”)
Longest Drive Awards
Men’s – $150 gift card to Nevada Bob’s
Women’s – $150 gift card to Nevada Bob’s
Vicki Bush Tournament winners
First Place Gross (60)
Second Place Gross (60)
Third Place Gross (61)
First Place Net (52.4)
Second Place Net (54.7)
Third Place Net (55.3)
By Preston Clarke Smith
At 55.3, Don Pursley, Jeff Pursley, Tim Pursley, and Zareh Sarrafian took third place net trophies from Ken Venturi, John Cook, James Slater, MD, and Jerry Slater, MD.
Ken Venturi, John Cook, James Slater, MD, and Jerry Slater, MD, award Martin Allard, Stan Brauer, Robert Martin, and Trevor Martin second place gross trophies for their score of 61.
After hitting 60 for the afternoon, David Bettis, Rocco Carlo, Jess Silva, and Eddi Ziskey receive second place gross trophies from Ken Venturi, John Cook, James Slater, MD, and Jerry Slater, MD.
With a score of 60, Brent Kuhn, Richard McCune, Doug Welebir, and David Wright receive first place gross trophies from Ken Venturi, John Cook, James Slater, MD, and Jerry Slater, MD.