By Madeline Zuckerman

Indian Wells Country Club members turned out in solid numbers to lend their tremendous support for a very good cause – the highly-anticipated two-day Annual Indian Wells Charity Classic on the weekend of Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18.  The event raised much-needed funds for the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and for the Invited Employee Care Foundation.

(left to right) Co-chairs of the Indian Wells Charity Classic Car Show are Dennis Waterkotte and Vicki Sheppard.

Located in the heart of the Coachella Valley in prestigious Indian Wells, California, Indian Wells Country Club is just one of those portfolios of country clubs owned or operated by Invited, the World Leader in Private Clubs®.  Set against the Santa Rosa Mountains with canyons, vistas, and views, this desert oasis has been home to locals and celebrities alike, including Bob Hope, Desi Arnaz, George Gobel, Chuck Connors, and Lawrence Welk.  Indian Wells Country Club offers a quenching, community lifestyle with 36 holes of championship golf, impeccable dining, fitness, and even bocce ball.

(left to right) Dennis Coker, General Manager of Indian Wells Country Club and Marv Ingram, Board Chair of Indian Wells Country Club.

A 2K Run/Walk on Saturday commenced festivities at 9:00 am, followed by an exclusive Car Show featuring Members’ Vintage, as well as stunning new cars. On Sunday, guests participated in a “9 & Wine” Golf Tournament, followed by an elegant Gala Dinner beginning at 5:30 pm, which featured an extensive live and silent auction, with live entertainment throughout the evening performed by colorful and energetic Flamenco dancers and an accompanying guitarist.


The Valley’s own Patrick Evans, KESQ TV’s Meteorologist and Host of EYE ON THE DESERT served as emcee and auctioneer for the Dinner Gala

Karen Kelly, Fitness Manager at Indian Wells Country Club holding the adorable 8 week-old French Pug mix puppy

Dinner commenced with tray passed appetizers followed by a scrumptious three-course dinner consisting of an heirloom Golden Ruby Red Beet and herbed Goat Cheese Mousse, Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Prime Beef Short Rib, and topped off by a Millefoglie Napolean.

For sure one of the live auction highlights was the absolutely adorable 8 week-old French Pug mix puppy, complete with four puppy training sessions! Additional live auction highlights were an Aetric Golf Cart, a Puerto Vallarta condominium stay, two Private Dinners for 10 guests including wine, prepared by Indian Wells’ Chef Joshua Castro, and BNP Paribas Tennis Tickets at Indian Wells Tennis Garden with a Porto Via Restaurant Gift Card.

(left to right) Greg Redden, Gina Anastasi, Paul Cox, Director of Golf at Indian Wells Country Club.

Susan Stiff of Perfect Touch Event Décor designed the elegant dinner ambiance, showcasing floor length black pintuck table linens with coordinating red napkins. The stunning centerpiece, carrying out the international theme for the evening, consisted of a 12” globe sitting on a lit pedestal base.

Coachella Valley Rescue Mission was founded in 1971 in Indio, California, to serve the growing homeless population within the Coachella Valley, beginning as a simple soup kitchen and shelter for men only. As support for the Mission grew, programs and services expanded. CVRM added a refuge for abused women and their children, in addition to expanding services for men. Rapid growth through the late 1990s realized the need for a vision of expansion. In 2008, CVRM started a capital campaign to realize the dream of a new 60,000 square-foot facility which opened in 2011.

(left to right) Gigi Coonley and Grant Coonley.

This new facility was expanded again in 2015, with an additional 10,000 square-foot emergency shelter, with still room for growth for future visions. CVRM operates 2 full-time street outreach teams who engage with the homeless community five days a week in all cities within the Coachella Valley and beyond. Their assignment is to locate, identify, and engage homeless individuals on the street, in order to offer support and assistance. Individuals coming to CVRM arrive directly from the streets through organizational referrals or from street outreach efforts. CVRM operates two long-term residential programs for both men and women, designed to bring clients to self-sufficiency and transition back to independent living.

The Invited Employee Care Foundation assists Invited employees in the midst of crisis such as home loss, death, illness, as well as domestic situations. Since its creation in 2007, over 2,100 Invited employees in need and their families have received funds from this Foundation.

(left to right) Shelly Snellenberger and Jim Snellenberger.

Local businesses, as well as, individuals helped to support this year’s Annual Charity Classic through a variety of sponsorship opportunities and/or by donating products and services for the silent and live auctions. Charity Classic Event Sponsors this year included Holguin Construction, Arizona Tile, WDC Kitchen & Bath Center, Pro Circuit AV, Eisenhower Health, Farley Interlocking Pavers, Flooring Innovations, and Gallery Homes.