Golf tournament funds scholarships

Ultimate fundraiser hopes to ease college students’ expenses through scholarships

By Roxana Amparo, Staff Writer

The Contra Costa College Foundation and the Mira Vista Country Club are coming together one final time to host the Swinging for Scholarships fundraiser on Monday.

The golf tournament Swinging for Scholarships is a fundraiser that collects money for CCC student scholarships and helps support various programs at the college, such as the athletic and nursing programs.

The scholarships assist students with their basic college expenses such as tuition, books and anything they need to help them achieve their educational goals, Eric Zell, tournament committee chairperson and member of the CCC Foundation Board, said.

The Sy and Beverly Zell Golf Tournament, Swinging for Scholarships, and accompanying awards banquet, is named in remembrance of Eric Zell’s parents. Zell’s father, Sy, was once the president of the Foundation and Zell wants to continue the family legacy of helping students in need, he said.

“(The event) is not about just raising money, but about making a positive impact on the community,” Zell said.

The golf tournament invites friends, clients and businesses from the community to swing for a cause: scholarships for college students.
Last year the event raised $80,000, and for this final year Zell wants to make sure it ends raising more money than any previous tournament.
“The goal is to net $125,000,” he said.

Tournament Coordinator Martha Parsons said that this golf tournament is a way to make college more viable to the larger part of the community.
CCC Scholarship Program Coordinator Jennifer Dyment said, “Scholarships make a big difference in a student’s life. It is a wonderful gift to give to someone.”

Members of the community can invest in the education of students by taking part in the tournament or by donating.

The Zell family’s active engagement in the Richmond community since the late ’40s has built a strong community of supporters for the Swinging for Scholarships fundraiser in past years.

The positive contributions from the Zell family and members of the community links students with greater possibilities.

The event will consist of a golf tournament, cocktail hour, banquet and speeches from different community members.

The participating sponsors can purchase a diamond, platinum, or gold sponsorship of $25,000, $10,000, or $5,000 to donate towards scholarships.

It is not required that a donor play in the tournament to donate — anyone can donate to support students and programs at CCC.

During the golf tournament, participants gather throughout the golf course to play a scramble.

In a scramble, the golfers tee off their shots and then all take their second shots from the place the best first shot landed.

The tournament lasts around five hours altogether, Zell said.
After the golf tournament everyone comes together for cocktail hour followed by the banquet, he said.

To finalize the event, guest speakers give speeches and a previous Swinging for Scholarship recipient shares his or her story of what it was like to receive a scholarship funded by the event.

The event raises the most money of any golf tournament in the East Bay, Zell said.

Zell said he will continue giving back to the community after this event marks the end of Swinging for Scholarships.