PASADENA, Calif. - The second annual Spearmint Rhino Charity Golf Tournament raised several thousand dollars for Savannah's Organic Ranch on Monday at La Canada Flintridge Country Club. (photo gallery)
Joe Sachen founded Savannah's Organic Ranch to help ease the lives of children battling pediatric cancer and continue the legacy of his daughter Savannah.
The tournament originally was set for 144 players, but closer to 160 enjoyed a lively round of golf with help from over a dozen sexy entertainers from Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen's Clubs who were caddies for the day.
"It was a big turnout for a great cause," said Ross Yamashita, the vice president of marketing for Spearmint Rhino Companies Worldwide, Inc., who orchestrated the event. "We're looking forward to seeing what the final tally is. ... Savannah's Organic Ranch is a great organization. Last year we raised $10,000. This year we hope to have raised at least that if not more."
This year's tournament included numerous prizes and amenities for the golfers starting with the BBQ lunch before the scramble began. Yamashita positioned the Taylor's Tobacco premium cigar tent right next to the first tee along with a couple of scantily clad hostesses. On the other side of the hole was a brand new, black Mercedes Benz C300 courtesy of Mercedes Benz of Encino. The car would have been awarded to anyone who sank a hole-in-one on the Par-3, first hole. Then next to the cash bar and tubs of cold beer were two massage chairs for the golfers.
"We actually had a lot more prizes this year than last year," Yamashita said as the round was winding to a close. "We have a lot of plaques, trophies and a lot of alcohol that we're giving away. Canon donated a nice digital camera for us to auction off. Owner's Pass gave us a VIP suite at Staples Center to auction off. And everything goes to Savannah's Organic Ranch."
The three other hole-in-one prizes included $10,000 cash, a big-screen TV, and a pair of domestic roundtrip airline tickets.
Dolce, a dancer from the Spearmint Rhino in downtown Los Angeles, caddied all afternoon for one lucky foursome, and then she was the trophy girl at the dinner ceremony at the Top of the Club restaurant.
"I found out about this from my GM, and this is my first time golfing and I'm having a blast," Dolce said during the middle of the round.
The top three foursomes received trophies and assorted gifts after the three-course, buffet-style dinner for all the participants. Guests also bought over $700 in raffle tickets for prizes that included numerous bottles of premium liquor.
Erick Sikkenga, executive vice president of operations for Spearmint Rhino Companies Worldwide, MC-ed the awards dinner, one day after celebrating his birthday.
"It was a great turnout," Sikkenga said. "There were more girls than the year before. With the sponsor support and the money people bid on the silent auction, we're expecting to raise over $10,000 for Savannah's Organic Ranch. I think we exceeded it actually. We oversold the tournament which was fine because we got them all on."
Sikkenga even humbly collected the plaque for "last place" in the tournament, an honor that went to his foursome. He thanked the numerous supporters of the event, including title sponsors AmWINS Group, Inc., and Kelley, Jiggins & Associates; Free FM, Canon, JMS Outdoor Advertising, Cabe & Cato ATM, Red Bull, Pink Vodka and Skyy Vodka.
Then he introduced the founder of the evening's charity, Joe Sachen, as a "true, honest, great guy."
"I didn't expect this journey to take this path but I've met some fantastic people along the way," Sachen told the crowd, thanking Spearmint Rhino president and COO Kathy Vercher among several others.
He noted that September was pediatric cancer month and October is breast cancer awareness month, "so you'll see a lot of pink."
He said that he was wearing special blue and brown bracelets that he hoped would eventually be "the colors of pediatric cancer."
"I gotta tell you this was a bigger and better event than last year," Sachen said. "These guys do a great job. ... Good turnout, good people, good cause. ...I have to thank the Spearmint Rhino for stepping up like this. That is huge. It's beyond words."
For Gia Jordan's photo gallery, click here.