(left to right) Brooke Beare, Event Mistress of Ceremonies, who is also a Desert Arc Board Member and Immediate Past Chair of the Desert Arc Board, Lori Serfling, Desert Arc Board Member, Damian Jenkins, Chair of the Desert Arc Board, Nancy Singer, Event Chair and a Board Member of Desert Arc, and Richard Balocco, President/CEO of Desert Arc.

BY MADELINE ZUCKERMAN / PHOTOS BY LANI GARFIELD

Desert Arc’s sold-out 11th Annual Golf Classic, postponed three times due to the pandemic, proved to be was well worth the wait!  With a record turnout of over 100 golfers and over 150 dinner guests, Desert Arc realized overwhelming community support for its mission of championing the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by enhancing their clients’ quality of life and creating opportunities for each person.   Golfers attending looked forward with much anticipation to play on the renowned Eagle Falls Golf Course at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.

The event featured a continental breakfast, Shotgun Scramble, Boxed Lunch, Cocktail Reception, and Golf Awards banquet dinner, prepared by Fantasy Springs’ infamous Chef Freddy, featuring insalada abbondanza, roasted sirloin of beef, pan roasted salmon, Baja style shrimp, torchio pasta pomodoro, mushroom-cheese ravioli, Chef Freddy’s meatballs and Italian sausage, followed by an assortment of mini desserts.

“Desert Arc adeptly responded to the challenges of Covid-19 on behalf of the nearly 700 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by our mission,” stated Richard Balocco, President/CEO of Desert Arc.  “Our nonprofit, a human services organization, shifted its on-site programs into ongoing phone meetings with our case management staff and virtual gatherings via zoom to ensure the opportunity for clients to participate in learning and social activities.  The unwavering commitment of our Board of Directors and staff to our cause and perseverance in providing person-centric programming to enable people to reach their highest potential is inspirational to all.  Desert Arc’s future holds the promise of continued service to adults with disabilities, 18 years and older, building on our strengths as a 62-year-old agency, in response to their needs.”

Hot Purple Energy continued their support of Desert Arc by donating the Opportunity Prize Drawing of two RAD electric bikes, won by Stu Gallagher and Matt Mitmer.

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The brilliant collaboration of the “Dream Team,” comprised of Nancy Singer, Event Chair and Desert Arc Board Member, Mistress of Ceremonies Brooke Beare, Emmy-Award-winning journalist, Board Member, and immediate Past Chair of the Desert Arc Board, and Jay Chesterton, Host and former Desert Arc Board member, made this event a resounding success.

(left to right) Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Golf Foursome – Jim Schneider, Bill Banning, Jay Chesterton, and Chris Henry.

“We were finally able to hold our April 2020 Golf Classic after three postponements, and what a great day it was!” stated Nancy Singer, Event Chair.  “Over 100 golfers played on the beautiful Eagle Falls Golf Course, and over 150 guests enjoyed Chef Freddy’s fabulous Awards dinner.  And, thanks to Jay Chesterton and his entire staff at Fantasy Springs, who treated everyone like royalty.  I look forward to welcoming the community to two upcoming Desert Arc fundraising events in 2022 – the 4th Annual “Champions of Change” Recognition Awards Luncheon on February 8, 2022 and the Desert Arc 12th Annual Golf Classic on April 7, 2022.  It is so rewarding to chair these events, which raise funds to support the programs and services that Desert Arc offers.”

The coveted Golf Awards went to:

First Place Team: Seecon Properties – John Tate, Fabian Granados, Brandon Petelski, Jason Johnson

Second Place Team: Rivco Mechanical Services – Matt Clark,  Jordan Clark, Marvin Scott, Casey Scott

Men’s Longest Drive: Jordan Clark

Women’s Longest Drive: Nancy Houtz

Men’s Closest to the Pin: Marc McClure

Women’s Closest To The Pin: Nancy Houtz

Steve Riegler, Director of Commercial Sales for Hot Purple Energy, with the Opportunity Prize Drawing, one of two RAD electric bikes graciously donated by Hot Purple Energy.

In a surprise announcement, Nancy Singer was joined by Desert Arc Board Chair Damian Jenkins, to present Chef Freddy with the Chef Extraordinaire Award, and Jay Chesterton, with the Friend to Desert Arc Extraordinaire Award, for his long-time friendship with Desert Arc, for his generosity in hosting the Golf Classic for many years, and for his unwavering support of many other Desert Arc events.

This year’s Media Sponsors included Presenting Newspaper & Digital Media Sponsor THE DESERT SUN and LOCALiQ; Exclusive TV Media Sponsor KESQ TV’s News Channel 3; and Exclusive Radio Media Sponsor Alpha Media – Palm Springs.

Seen in the crowd were Richard Balocco, Douglas Welmas, Lori & Steve Riegler, Rob Anzalone, David Peat, Mike Schrim, Michael Oehlbaum, Jerry Upham, Jeff Levine, David Fraschetti, Sergio Gutierrez, Mary Hendler, Damian Jenkins, Glenn Miller, Diane Fesler, Lori & Aubrey Serfling, Jeff Shields, Ty Peabody, Bobbi Farnham, Dana Reed, Buddy Ackerman, Marc & Carol McClure, George Englund, Ernie Rubin, Teddi Rozell, Karen Miles, Suzy Houser, Colby & Kathy Scott, Carol Gross, Leonard Zuckerman, Diane Kalman, Brittany Rieger, Carissa Rieger, Diane Rieger, Norman White, David Scott, Steve Matthews, Paul Watson, Alex Gomez, Mike Lowe, and Billy Bartley.

For information on Desert Arc please call 760-404-1368 or visit www.desertarc.org