Golden golf balls rain from sky at ‘Halos and Tiaras’ cancer fundraiser

Nefty Trevino pours out 300 golden golf balls over the target hole on Saturday’s Halos and Tiaras fundraiser. Photo by Javier Guerrero.

HOLTVILLE — The skies split open Saturday afternoon at the Halos and Tiaras 2nd Annual Golf Ball drop in Holtville as 300 golden “golf balls from heaven” descended upon the Barbara Worth Golf Course symbolizing the funds raised for local cancer patients, previous survivors, and families of those impacted by cancer.

After an early morning golf scramble, the lunch and raffle portion of the event ensued.

“Show up, even if you don’t golf or don’t want to play in the tournament. You can buy a ball, and who knows – you could be next to win $10,000,” said Mary Lou Burches.

Each of the 300 golf balls dropped were purchased for $100 for an overall value of $30,000 of funds raised in the ball drop alone – $20,000 was earmarked for charity and $10,000 went to the person who purchased the ball that landed in or closest to the target hole.

“All the money goes locally to Imperial Valley children who are diagnosed with cancer to help them with whatever their cost is while they are seeking treatment and after,” said Marcy Bingham, president of the Halos and Tiaras Foundation, sponsors of the event.

The chopper loaded with the golden golf balls was piloted by Mike Reed from Custom AG, and he swirled through for a practice pass before stopping to hover over the green. Halos and Tiaras Vice President Julie Chavez, along with board member Nefty Trevino, tossed the golf balls out of a square plastic container.

Ball #129, purchased by Oscar Delgado of the Mexicali Channel 66 Golf Team, landed closest to the designated hole — a foot and a half away. Delgado’s teammate Jaime Jimenez was there to relay the good news via cell phone to the absent grand prize winner.

The $10,000 golden golf ball that rolled closest to the designated hole.

“Originally, we started this foundation in honor of Caelynn Andrea Iten, a three-year-old little girl from Holtville who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma Cancer,” explained Bingham on the background of the group’s name and history. “Milania Trevino (daughter of co-pilot Nefy) lost her battle to cancer, November 8, 2013. This past year, we decided to change the name to Halos and Tiaras to represent all the children in the Imperial Valley who are fighting for their lives, and who also have battled cancer, and some unfortunate ones that didn’t make it.”

The excited children rushed the target hole to see the winning ball and help round up the 299 others.

“We just ask for the community’s continued support to help these kids and to continue to pray for them and everything that they go through and everything that their families go through,” Bingham said. “We appreciate their support and continued support throughout the year. We give all this money back to the community to help these kids, to help their families and we want to make this even bigger each year,” she said.