It was a terrific day for the 11th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic on May 7. The event is the big fund-raiser for The George Lopez Foundation to help send kids with kidney disease to summer camp, and George’s famous friends were out in force to support the cause that is very personal to the superstar comic who had a kidney transplant in 2005.
The celebrity duffers gathered in on the prestigious links in Toluca Lake, just a short putt from Lopez’ home. And when Lopez greeted this reporter announcing on the red carpet, “Hey, The Tolucan Times is here with my oldest friend,” I was delighted to reminisce with George about how much good he has done through his foundation. But he didn’t take all the credit himself. He said, “It’s not just about golf and the fun we have, it’s about helping kids and families. And the success of this big event is due to the great volunteers and Linda Small who runs the foundation. She’s unbelievable, traveling to the PGA tour to talk to everyone about the foundation and getting lots of people to donate things. Linda is very hands on and has a compassionate commitment to improving lives.”
In addition to his foundation and entertainment legacy, George said, “It’s Mayan, my daughter that I’m most proud of. She’s my legacy in human form.”
Among the notables ready to swing at the event was another great dad, Joe Mantegna. Also a Tolucan fellow who stars in Criminal Minds, which CBS just picked up for a 14th season, next week Joe has PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert to co-host with Gary Sinise on Sunday, May 27. Mantegna said, “It’s the most important thing I do every year honoring our men and women in uniform. I always look forward to that.”
Tim Allen just got his series Last Man Standing picked up by Fox TV after ABC giving it the boot over a year ago. Allen revealed that he doesn’t golf for pleasure. “It’s a tough activity for me, but every now and then I have one golf shot that will bring me back. Fortunately, I’m not playing with pros today, just comics, actors and lunatics.”
Arguably, Alfonso Ribeiro is the best celeb golfer on the course, and LA Dodger Yasiel Puig brought a dynamic energy to his game. Whereas Tommy Chong is just happy to enjoy a day putting around in the sunshine. Anthony Anderson (Black-ish) just beamed, “Great weather, friends, and nice Tequila. I think we’ve got ‘em all today.”
Also on hand were Andy Garcia, Samuel L. Jackson, Eddie Van Halen, Luke Wilson, Don Cheadle, David Arquette, Dennis Haysbert, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Spencer, Joe Regalbuto, Esai Morales, D.L. Hughley, Debbe Dunning, Richard Karn, Laker great Byron Scott, NBA’s Norman Nixon, Cheech Marin (upcoming in the animated movie Naya: Legend of the Golden Dolphin), Joe Pesci and Cedric The Entertainer, plus many more.
Participating celebrities were thrilled to see Doris Bergman’s Second Annual Gratitude Lounge there. The luxury lounge was co-sponsored by Precious Vodka and Melanated Rich Beauty, and Bergman, known as Hollywood’s Grand Duchess of Hospitality, featured incredible gifts to support George Lopez and his cause. Among the array were Curtis & Co. Timepieces; Vuliwear Sunglasses; Tequila Exotico; Porto Vino; Backyard Mary; Beauty Kitchen by Heather Marianna; Bend Beauty Skincare; Milena’s Boutique; Powers Real Estate; Youthglow Skincare; Universal Mobile Apps; Dainty Box Jewelry; Twisted Silver necklaces and so much more. Super cool wireless earphones from AfterShokz were also a big hit with the golfers who were amazed by the technology.
The goodies were enjoyed by the cadre of celebs who were certainly treated to the best of the best. But more importantly they supported the mission of The George Lopez Foundation, which creates the opportunity for positive and permanent change for underprivileged children, adults, and military families confronting challenges in education and health. And it forges ahead with its noble purpose of increasing community awareness about kidney disease and organ donation. Bless them.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years and was proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.