2016 Golf and Tennis Classic
The 10th Annual MVAT Foundation Golf & Tennis Classic thrilled participants and sponsors, celebrated America’s veterans, and raised nearly $360,000.00 in support of MVAT Foundation programs. Held August 15, 2016 at the MountainGate Country Club in Los Angeles, the day opened with a moving Opening Ceremony attended by four Medal of Honor recipients, distinguished senior military officers, and some 200 golf tournament participants. They were saluted by the Los Angeles Police Department with a helicopter flyby. After welcoming addresses, an Armed Forces Color Guard presented the colors. Esteemed vocalist Mr. Scotch Ellis Loring delivered a stirring rendition of the national anthem as four WWII-period airplanes of the Tiger Squadron roared overhead making two passes in tribute to the tournament and its supporters.
As the golf and tennis tournaments ended in the late afternoon, the post play reception was kicked off by the Golden Stars skydiving team of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Jumping at 15,000 feet, the four skydivers landed within yards of the cheering crowd, the last one trailing a 30-foot American flag.
Reprising her well-received emcee performance at last year’s awards dinner, Jennie Garth, star of the mega hit television series Beverly Hills 90210, welcomed the capacity crowd of more than 400 and quickly brought onto the stage Chairman Don Schwarz, who thanked the donors and sponsors whose support makes the MVAT Foundation’s programs possible. Then, the Medal of Honor recipients in attendance were introduced. They were Major General Patrick Brady, Colonel Jack Jacobs, Captain Florent Groberg, and Command Sergeant Major Gary Littrell.
Captain Groberg delivered the evening’s keynote address. He received the Medal of Honor for his efforts to save the lives of his command team in Afghanistan. On August 8, 2012, while participating in a movement on foot through the city of Jalalabad, Captain Groberg spotted a suicide bomber intent on killing Captain Groberg’s command team. Without hesitation, he confronted the bomber and, sensing an imminent detonation, bodily tackled the bomber, whose subsequent explosion grievously wounded the young captain. Due to his decisive action, Captain Groberg thwarted the bomber’s plot to kill the leading members of the command team. For his actions that day, he received the Medal of Honor in 2015.
The entire audience was enthralled by Captain Groberg’s speech, which was, in turns, riveting, moving, and inspirational. His life story – an immigrant from France, learning English as a 7-year-old, grief upon learning of the death of a favorite uncle who while serving in the Algerian army was killed by Islamic fundamentalists, witnessing the 9/11 attacks on his new country, becoming a high school track star in suburban Washington, DC, running for the Division 1 University of Maryland track team, joining the Army, his first combat tour in Afghanistan and how much he learned about leading troops from a wise staff sergeant, and his bond with his troops, were only some of the incredible elements of his life he wove into an absolutely captivating address.
Just before the end of the event, the winners of the golf and tennis tournaments were announced and the drawing for the 2016 Australia Adventure travel package was held. Mr. Michael Barnaba of Camarillo, California was the winner. The evening concluded with the entire crowd singing God Bless America, led by America’s Tenor, Mr. Steve Amerson.
The MVAT Foundation would like to extend its deep appreciation to our incredible volunteers, without whom the tournament and its great success for our veterans would not be possible. Special gratitude is also expressed to our 2016 sponsors:
American Golf Corporation
American Legion Post 283, Pacific Palisades
Awards Dinner Sponsor
RBC Wealth Management
The Tailored Portfolio Management Group at RBC Wealth Management
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Elliott and Robin Broidy
Scorpion Internet Marketing
Tournament Lunch Sponsor
Yonezawa-Miller Co., LLC
Down Under Endeavours
David Price/American Airports
Tournament Breakfast Sponsor
The Gary Sinise Foundation
City National Bank
Nicole Segal, in Honor of Dick Gold
Doug and Jane Berl
Big Horse Feed & Mercantile/Rose Corona
Mike and Adrienne Blackman
Donald A. Gralla
Roy and Judi Kaufman
Keesal, Young & Logan
Vera and John Schwartz
Welch & Co.
Steve and Lucy Schultz
Tennis Court Sponsor
Jeanne and Paul Grossman