Golf and a Rock Star Combine to Help Bogart Charity

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From l, Bob Taylor, Frank Bar-ron, and Keith Emerson of Em-erson, Lake & Palmer.

There were three good reasons I enjoyed the fifth annual Provident Financial Management Golf Classic presented by Robertson Taylor last month at the Sherwood Country Club. First of all, it was a fun event that benefited the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program.

It was held in memory of the late Neil Bogart, whom I knew in the ’70s when I was with Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. He was one of the music world’s good guys who started Casablanca Records and went on to produce films with Peter Guber. During theCasablanca days he promoted everyone from The Village People to Donna Summer, and rock acts such as KISS and T. Rex. Those were great days.

Neil’s widow Joyce Bogart Trabulus wanted to add to his legacy and founded the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program, which supports the Bogart Labs at Children’sHospital LA.The golf classic is one of its main fundraisers.

Another reason I enjoyed the event was catching up with rocker Keith Emerson. Still active and recording, Keith was with the mega-popular English rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer that sprung from the ’70s. I actually did publicity for them when I was with the rock’n’roll firm Gibson and Stromberg PR. So I loved hearing the stories from those days — which Keith put in his book Pictures of an Exhibitionist, a clever twist on the title of ELP’s classical theme music “Pictures at an Exhibition” that introduced the group’s concerts.

Emerson got up during dinner at the clubhouse to tell one of the outrageous tales from the book involving the late Willie Robertson, who was memorialized at the golf event. Willie was co-founder of Robertson Taylor, specialist insurance brokers, which helped sponsor the tournament. The story involved large amounts of alcohol at an English pub and a wild fox the two took back to their office, which proceeded to trash the place. Keith told it much better. Bob Taylor, the other co-founder of Robertson Taylor, also fondly recalled wild Willie Robertson stories that delighted the crowd. Taylor and I also shared some stories from those rock days.

My last reason, but certainly not least, was that it was a beautiful day for golf lovers to congregate at the top-rated Sherwood Country Club inThousand Oaks. One of the season’s most anticipated charity golf affairs, it raised over $150,000. The Robertson Taylor Presents the Fifth Annual Provident Financial Management Golf Classic was a great tribute to the memory of Willie Robertson, in addition to benefiting the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy.

Golfers had access to Sherwood Country Club’s elite par-72 championship golf course. With a Brigadoon-like atmosphere, it was designed by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus with breathtaking views of theSanta Monicamountains and lush landscaping as you play each of the 18 holes. The course, complete with waterfalls, annually hosts the PGA Tour sanctioned Chevron World Challenge Tournament. It’s a favorite of Tiger Woods too.

Sitting with a happy foursome at the end of the day for cocktails at the posh clubhouse, the guys were laughing about having a great day on the course. “Of course, not a great game, I barely shot par,” one duffer kidded. Yeah, right.

“We are pleased to once again support Bogart’s pediatric cancer research with our annual golf classic event,” said Provident Financial’s Bill Vuylsteke, vice chairman of the Bogart Board of Directors. “The event offers a great opportunity to enjoy a top-rated course, and every dollar raised on the fairways directly benefits the lives of those who need it most.”

Also in attendance were actor Rocky Carroll from NCIS and KTLA’s Frank Buckley. It was a great place for the golfers to enjoy a barbeque lunch at the 9th hole, and after completing the back-9 there were cocktails and dinner. Guests also had fun with the silent and live auctions offering special items, including lots of concerts and Vegas shows to keep the music lovers happy.

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