By Madeline Zuckerman

Olive Crest, known for its dedication to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children and to preserving the family . . .“One Life at a time,” hosted its Annual Golf Invitational at the Classic Club in Palm Desert, California, with over 100 guests and a full field of golfers.  This event raised much-needed funds to benefit local at-risk children and their families in the Desert Communities and Riverside County.   This event raised over $ 75,000.00.

USC Football Legend and Olive Crest Trustee, Darnell Bing, once again served as the event chair.   Bing was joined by numerous other USC football teammates, who lent their support to this very worthwhile cause.

“I am so impressed with the positive difference that Olive Crest makes for disadvantaged and at-risk kids,” stated Bing.  “It was an easy decision to lead this golf tournament and work with my fellow USC teammates to fund critical programs for children in our community.”


Event registration began at 9:00 am for this highly-anticipated golf tournament, which featured a Shotgun Scramble format, an Awards reception and dinner, in addition to a Silent Auction featuring sports memorabilia and exclusive travel packages.

“The idea for this Olive Crest Golf Invitational was the brainchild of one of our Olive Crest Trustees, Darnell Bing,” stated Walter Mueller, Director of Development for Olive Crest.  “Darnell envisioned this event as a way to not only raise funds for at-risk and disadvantaged youth, but also to bring visibility to the services and lifesaving programs Olive Crest offers.   Darnell also wanted to reach out and include some of his former USC teammates, as a way to introduce and educate them to the needs of youth within the foster care system.    Having Darnell participate, as well as, chair this event, along with his fellow football legends, makes this a very unique golfing experience and a win-win for all the at-risk children within our community,” Mueller continued.

Event Sponsors included Master Sponsor Kennedy Wilson Properties, Course Sponsor Toyota of Riverside, Ball Sponsor Pacific Premier Bank, Cart Sponsor Holstrom Block & Parke, Hole Sponsors the Mangione Family and Randy Nelson, and Tee Sponsors Frazer Construction, Sign Gypsies, and Ronnie Lott.

USC football legend Sunny Byrd shooting the golf ball cannon during the event.

Seen in the crowd were Darnell & Rachel Bing, Tom & Jen Mangione, Natalie Hollis, Erik McLeod, Bret Adams, Al Lara, Matt Robertson, Marc Blount, Tom Harness, Christian Mourguet, Kevin Frazer, Michael Heid, Judy Sanders, Pat Witte, Sean Harns, Christopher MacArthur, and Amie Arbid.  USC legends participating included Justin Wyatt, Collin Ashton, Darnell Bing, Shaun Michael Cody, Troy Polomau, Greg Carlson, Will Poole, Marv Williams, Oscar Lua, Terrell Thomas, David Kirtman, Sunny Byrd, Brandon Hancock, William Buchanon, Johm Walker, Lofa Tatupa, Jim Abbott, and Ryan Abraham.

(left to right) Working the Lemonade Stand during the Olive Crest Golf Invitational are Ariah, Tatyanna Voorhies, Olive Crest’s Community Involvement Coordinator, and T’yaira.

“The monies raised from this event will be utilized to support expanding services within both the Coachella Valley and throughout Riverside County, stated Tracy Fitzsimmons, Executive Director of Olive Crest Inland and Desert Communities. “Over the past year, our communities have seen a troubling rise in food scarcity, domestic violence, unemployment, and need for mental health services.  The Olive Crest team provides support in all of these areas.  We have an obligation to extend services wherever needed, and to ensure safe and loving homes for every single child.  That’s both our responsibility – – and a moral obligation.  Last year, local funding supported services to over 2,600 children and families, while working towards safe and loving homes for each child in our care.  However, for every child with a place in a safe and loving home, nine children are still waiting!  A safe home, along with a loving family home, is precisely what breaks the cycle of hopelessness in children’s lives. Our vision of a strong family for every child means that every child would be raised and nurtured in a strong, stable, and loving family, surrounded by friends, church, and supportive community,” Fitzsimmons continued.

About Olive Crest

Child Abuse continues to occur at alarming rates in our community and all across the country. Every 10 seconds in the U.S., a report of child abuse is made. And, nearly 5 children die on a daily basis from abuse related causes.

Since 1973, Olive Crest has transformed the lives of more than 150,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families.

Established, proven, and respected, Olive Crest serves nearly 4,000 children and families each day throughout California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest.