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Shirley Wild: Phil Trani raises money for Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach


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Friends and supporters of local Long Beach icon Phil Trani came together on Oct. 30 to raise more than $100,000 during his eighth annual Charity Golf Tournament.

The event benefits the sports programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach and the Phil Trani Donor Advised Fund.

El Dorado Park Golf Course hosted a full field of 160 golfers and added extra excitement to the tournament with various games and contests throughout the course. The winning foursome of the “Par or Better” tournament was the Patterson Construction team.

Phil Trani Golf Tournament, photo from left: Seamus McDonald, Don Rodriguez, Phil Trani (Photo by Shirley Wild, The Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Prior to teeing off, participants enjoyed breakfast burritos sponsored by The Grand. Torrington of ATLAPAC kept the golfers fueled by hosting lunch.

Hole-in-one prizes of $50,000, on three separate holes, were offered — to no avail.

Concluding the tournament festivities was a reception and dinner at Phil Trani’s restaurant, where guests indulged in Phil’s legendary “seven-hour pot roast” with all the fixings, served by the hardworking and dedicated restaurant staff.

During the reception, Don Rodriguez, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach, took a moment to remember one of the tournament’s biggest supporters, Troy Hardin, whose presence was felt by all through his family, friends and colleagues who played in, and sponsored, the tournament.

Keeping with tradition, Don also presented Phil with a pair of shoes to honor his dedication to the clubs. Phil, a former Boys & Girls Clubs member, would wait outside his club until the doors were unlocked so he could play sports in the gym. His family could not afford tennis shoes at that time, so he played in his socks.

Phil, surrounded by supporters of the youth in the Long Beach community, could not have been more grateful. Through tears, Phil thanked all of the tournament’s supporters over the years and excitedly announced that the tournament has raised more than $450,000 in its eight-year existence. Proceeds benefit the clubs’ sports and recreation programs that serve more than 2,500 youth members annually — the same programs that impacted Phil’s life all those years ago.

Sponsorships and support came from Phil, the Latimer Family, US Bank and John Zar, while the hard work of organizing the event came from the committee members: co-chairs Seamus McDonald and John Bianco, along with Bruce Patterson, Becky Hinkle (The Property Management Connection), David Walker, Graham Hebson, Mark Hebson, Marc Platt, and Sandra Valle.

Seen at the Scene: Phil Trani, Nikki Trani, Phil Trani, Jr., Max Hardin, Bruce Patterson, Anna and Marc Platt, Becky and Bob Hinkle, Robert Renteria, Carlos Delherra, John Bianco, Seamus McDonald, Graham Hebson, Ken Bentley, Rick Bryson, Patrick Cowan, John Morris, Dawna DeLong, Marcelle Epley, Kim Estes, Monica Freeman, Mark Latimer, Mark Haver, Mitchell Shenkin, Jen Heckman, Pete Imwalle, Wayne Ishimine, Dave Lasnier, Kevin Malloy, Jill McCullough, Max Merrill, Frank Penacchio, Dale Phelps, Bill Phillips, Bernie Selmanson, Matt Simon, Eric Springer, Laureen Starkenberg, Larry Stewart, Bill Lovelace, Rob Wigod and his daughter Hailey Wigod.

Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership, photo from left: Janey Roeder, Karyn Scissum Gunn, Greg Wooden, Jane Close Conoley, Justin Rudd, Louise Ukleja, Mick Ukleja and Mark Guillen (Photo by Shirley Wild, The Press-Telegram/SCNG)
Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership, photo from left: Janey Roeder, Karyn Scissum Gunn, Greg Wooden, Jane Close Conoley, Justin Rudd, Louise Ukleja, Mick Ukleja and Mark Guillen (Photo by Shirley Wild, The Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award Celebration

More than 185 community leaders gathered at The Modern on Nov. 2 to celebrate the presentation of the annual Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award.

Hosted by the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership at CSULB, the evening was filled with love and gratitude for the 2023 award recipient, Justin Rudd, “Chief Inspiration Officer” of Community Action Team. The $10,000 award is given annually to a person or organization whose contribution to a community – local, national or global – is built on ethical behavior and visionary leadership. It is designed to promote ethics in leadership and to honor the Woodens, whose lives epitomized the Ukleja Center’s mission, vision and values.

Thanks to his hands-on leadership style, Justin is seen and felt everywhere in Long Beach – from CAT’s monthly beach clean-ups to its popular Touch-a-Truck and Turkey Trot events, to the establishment of Rosie’s Dog Beach and other events.

The evening’s festivities began with a reception overlooking Long Beach Airport’s private jet runway, with guests mingling while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres. Many corporate sponsors hosted a student and/or CSULB faculty member, making for stimulating table conversations.

The dinner program began with the center’s director, Janey Roeder, and CSULB’s provost, Karyn Scissum Gunn, warmly welcoming everyone on behalf of the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership and CSULB. They shared the center’s vision of having an ethics module in every CSULB course through its Ethics Across the Curriculum program.

By awarding $3,000 stipends to faculty who integrate ethics modules into their classes, the vision is on its way to becoming a reality.

Board chair Mark Guillen greeted attendees and encouraged them to join him in embracing the center’s mission of equipping people with the transformational power of ethical leadership. Speakers Katie Dudley and Nia Salapare shared this view in their address.

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley championed the center’s vision before introducing Justin, whose talk focused on the joy of giving through servant leadership.

Major table sponsors received copies of Coach John Wooden’s children’s book, “Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success.”

The inspirational evening culminated with Justin receiving the Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award from Mark Guillen and Greg Wooden, Nell and John’s grandson.

Greg remarked that Justin’s commitment to his faith, family and community reminded him of his grandparents, who were all about being of service to others. The evening concluded with Janey Roeder thanking everyone for their support of the event, which raised more than $64,000 for Ethics Across the Curriculum at CSULB.

Seen at the Scene: Mayor Rex and Nina Richardson, Celeste Ahl, Michele Bivens, Mario and Gloria Cordero, Laura Doud, Rose Gonzalez, CJ Harmatz, Doug Haubert, Diana Kot, John and Kathleen Lacey, Nancy Luong, praCh Ly, Bruce MacRae, Darick Simpson, Seiji Steinmetz, Michael Solt, and Louise and Mick Ukleja, Cam Killingsworth, Rob Gunsalus, Michele Dobson, Julie and Rocky Suares (who recently escaped Israel during the invasion), Terese Parkin (who recently won the Mrs. Long Beach 2024 title).

National Charity League South Coast Chapter’s Fashion Show

“The World is Your Runway” was a day of fundraising and style for the National Charity League South Coast Chapter’s annual Fashion Show, held on Oct. 15 at the Westin Hotel Long Beach.

Celebrating this year’s Junior and Senior class ladies, the event was the culmination of six years of cultural and leadership growth within the NCL organization, focusing on the leadership pillar of teaching poise and confidence as the young ladies walked the runway.

Together, the 265 attendees raised more than $13,000 for the all-new South Coast Scholarship program, a philanthropy that awards financial college scholarships to young women overcoming extreme hardship in local communities.

Escorted by The National League of Young Men, the NCL Senior and Junior class showcased elegance, confidence and poise as they walked the runway. It was a thrill for all who have seen them grow and mature over the six-year experience. Chapter President Shannon Keany and President-elect Amy Payne announced the formation of a new South Coast Scholarship program for young women in the community who are college bound.

The annual event is organized and hosted by the mothers and daughters of the NCL ninth-grade freshman class. This year’s event chairs were Brandi Amundson and Michelle Mims, with the class of 2027 mothers and daughters planning and hosting.

National Charity League was founded in 1925, with the mission to foster the mother-daughter relationship through ongoing commitments to philanthropy, culture and leadership. The NCL South Coast Chapter was founded in 1962 and serves the communities of Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Cypress, and Long Beach. Learn more on Instagram @nclsouthcoast.

Seen at the scene: NCL ninth-grade freshman class: Reagan Reed, Ava Keller, Jordan Kirkendall, Maddie Hug, Ava Stevens, Corrine Thomas, Ava Feely, Avery Pawlacyk, Katrina Meyer, Sophia Marr, Nikki Orr, Maile Snellen, Hailey Paige Ibarra, Vasi Georgakopoulosm, Gaby McCarthy, Tatum Abe, Madison Bedward.

A Few Good Men… encore!

Sometimes the “fun just doesn’t stop” — and neither does the tally! “A Few Good Men,” the Ronald McDonald House event, held on Oct. 19, finished compiling the generosity of the guests – with a final count of a whopping $825,000.

“Thanks to the generosity of the community,” Executive Director Cheryl Vargas said. “We are forever grateful for the ongoing support, dedication and enthusiasm of our greater community.”

Omission: The Oct. 22 column about the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s Grape Expectations photo omitted the name of Board of Directors President Ryan Ballard.

News of Social events with charitable purposes may be sent to Shirley Wild at spwild@verizon.net or by fax to 562-594-9468. Please include a contact phone number. Send high-resolution jpeg photos, by attachment, to spwild@verizon.net and include group name and identification of individuals from left. Call Shirley at 562-594-9468 for more information.

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