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TODAY news for Thursday, September 14, 2006

Loma Linda University Children's Hospital news

First-time golf tournament raises more than $70,000 for Children’s Hospital

Just over $70,000 raised at the Jackson Invitational golf tournament.
(From left) Susan Althouse, P.J. Skarich, Tiffany Hoekstra, from the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Bill Gates, George Skarich, and Christie Gates celebrate just over $70,000 raised at the Jackson Invitational golf tournament.
Representatives from the inaugural Jackson Invitational golf tournament met on

August 29 at Wong Kerlee International Conference Center to celebrate the more than $70,000 raised at the event.

The event grew out of inspiration from a 16-month-old’s battle with bladder cancer, Jackson James Wilkison. The grandson of Bill Gates, owner of a construction hardware company in the Inland Empire, Jackson survived his cancer and is now 2 and 1/2 years old.

“When you come to a hospital, you’re in total despair,” recalls Mr. Gates. “You’re willing to do anything to get out of here. These funds will hopefully help families get out just a little bit sooner.”

The money will be used to purchase a giraffe omnibed and a cardiac monitor for the neonatal intensive care unit, and a biofeedback machine for the pediatric urology department.

“When we first found out Jackson had cancer, I didn’t know where Loma Linda was or that it even had a hospital,” says Mr. Gates, who lives in Rancho Cucamonga. “Once we found it, we knew we were blessed.

“We feel we need to help provide this facility with the best technology and gifted doctors and staff so that if anyone needs to come here they are coming to the best hospital in the world.”

The Jackson Invitational golf tournament was held June 16 at the Eagle Glen golf course in Corona. The California Contractors and Framers Association supported the event and helped make it a successful first-time event. The second Jackson Invitational golf tournament is already being planned for April 2007.

Anyone interested in helping with or playing in the tournament may call (909) 477-6630.

By Preston Clarke Smith

TODAY news for Thursday, September 14, 2006