BRAWLEY – The weather was pitch-perfect for a day of golf at Brawley’s Del Rio Country Club Saturday, January 16. Over 130 golfers from all over the country gathered for the 6th annual Justin Lofton Foundation Charity Golf Tournament, hosted by the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Imperial Valley. From locals to people from Texas, from New Hampshire to Nebraska, these golfers came to play golf for a good cause and to have fun. Professional racer and Valley native, Justin Lofton began the tournament to give back to his local community.
Lofton has been racing for eighteen years and is well-known in the Valley. Aside from racing, Lofton is a full-time cattle feeder and part-time fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club and the Justin Lofton Foundation.
The charity golf tournament’s beginnings can be traced back to Lofton’s stockcar racing days more than six years ago. When Lofton moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, he did numerous charity events throughout the year. When he returned home in the Imperial Valley for three months, he came up with idea of an event that would allow him to partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Imperial Valley.
“I took on the challenge of ‘Hey, let’s have an event’,” Lofton said. “I had some really good friends that are board members on the Boys and Girls Club of the Imperial Valley and approached them with the idea. It started out as a one-time thing, and here we are six years later and it’s grown bigger and better every year. It’s become an annual event that we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.”
According to Lofton, the tournament has raised over $180,000 for the Boys and Girls Club, which averages about $33,000 a year. His hope was to beat that number in this year’s event.
Misty Lee is the interim executive director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Imperial Valley and has been working with Justin for two years.
“One of the things I like the most about this particular tournament is the level of fun,” said Lee. “People really enjoy it; they come out and have a great time. Everyone supports the cause as far as the mission of the Boys and Girls Club and the Justin Lofton Foundation. You can really see that people just want to come out and support the cause and have a good time doing it, added Lee.
The proceeds of the tournament benefit the children of the Boys and Girls Club and go to the operating cost of their after-school programs where students learn how to put a high priority on their education by studying and doing homework.
One of the many golfers who took part in the tournament was valley-native, Marshal McBroom. McBroom has been an avid golfer since junior high. For him, it was his first time attending this tournament.
“This is my first year at the Lofton tournament. I like how many people there are. It is a really well-put-together tournament and a lot of fun so far,” said McBroom. “I’ll definitely be here again next year.”
Following the tournament was an awards ceremony and dinner held at the Stockmen’s Club. The ceremony featured live music by San Diego band the Mighty Untouchables, a special recognition of the sponsors that made the whole event possible, games, a silent auction, and raffles. One of the highlights of the awards ceremony was the introduction of a perpetual trophy, which made its debut that evening, for the overall winning team of the tournament. The tournament champions were the team of Greg Lyon, Mike Lankford, and Bill Osborn. Additional trophies were also awarded to first, second, and third place teams.
Next year’s tournament is planned for January 21, 2017.[envira-gallery id=”70878”]