On October 19th, over 100 people from all over southern California gathered to join together and financially supported Serving California and one of its housing partners, Gabe’s Homes. This gathering was the brainchild of Ross Martinez, founder of Gabe’s Homes. With the support of his friends and the Western Hills Country Club, Ross worked tirelessly to create our first annual golf tournament to raise funds to support men and women who are transitioning from jail, prison, and/or substance abuse situations back into our communities as employees, students, and disciples of Jesus Christ.
Serving California and Gabe’s Homes, have proven moral rehabilitation, connected with transitional housing and mentoring, is a valuable key in reducing recidivism. Rebuilding and restructuring lives takes Christ-centered education, church fellowship, accountability, mentoring, secular education, and work skills, to reduce drug and alcohol usage as well as crime and domestic violence. When a person recognizes that he or she has self-worth, and the tools to grow in that self-worth, we see success!
The First Annual LIVING WITH PURPOSE Golf Tournament hosted over 100 people, and the day quickly proved to be a success beyond everyone’s hope. The golf teams took off to the greens at 10:00A.M. and the camaraderie quickly became infectious as laughter and fun overflowed the canyons and hills surrounding the golf course. Professional football players joined in the fray, along with business owners, workers, ex-offenders, community representatives, and many others.
Following the day of golfing, everyone gathered in the main dinning room area of the country club, and every heart was deeply touched as Ross Martinez shared how as a young child he had been “thrown away like trash” by his family and that there came a time when a friend’s family showed him true love, which altered his life forever. We listened, and many cried, as Gabe’s mother shared her heartbreaking story of her son, his battle with drugs, and his death… We all recognized how important it is to join forces, both physically and financially, to fight to save the lives of those who are in danger from substance abuse, crime, gangs, and abandonment.
Following a delicious meal, the time arrived for fundraising beyond the “buy-in” for the tournament. Sports items were auctioned, a trip to Hawaii, professional golfer equipment, and many more items all went for wonderful prices.
It was a wonderful time of fun, friendship, sharing of faith, and every expectation of what may have been raised financially was exceeded.
Thank you all, to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen, and a special thanks to everyone who joined us in the very noble cause – saving lives, one at a time.
Jon Lowry - Reentry Director, Serving California