‘Drive Safe’ Golf Classic returns to help Henry Mayo’s emergency services

Golfers from left, Eric Rushman, Todd Fisher, Leo Schwarz, Gary Lichtig and Nate Fisher get ready to tee off on the tenth hole as they participate in The 46th Annual Frontier Toyota /Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital "Drive Safe" Golf Classic held at Valencia Country Club in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Golf carts bolted across Valencia Country Club’s grounds as teams took part in the 46th Annual Frontier Toyota Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital “Drive Safe” Golf Classic on Saturday.

Sponsors and members of the community made up the 36 teams at the game with two teams per hole.

Each hole featured a sponsor, while volunteers from Henry Mayo peppered the grounds. Some teams of five were made up of individuals from the Ullman Foundation, Schwartz Oil Company Inc. and the Walt Disney Company, as well as local sponsors like Oakmont Senior Living of Santa Clarita and Valencia, SoCalGas and Bank of Santa Clarita.

“All the money raised goes to support our emergency department, so it supports emergency services at Henry Mayo Hospital,” said Marlee Lauffer, president of the hospital foundation. “We usually raise over $300,000 at this tournament.”

With the help of the scorekeepers who accompanied each team, all the golfers later gathered by a large tent by the driving range for an awards reception as well as a small auction.

At 4 p.m., a helicopter hovered over the grounds and dropped golf balls purchased by each team. The ball that hit the nearest pin meant different prizes for that team.

“People do get competitive,” Lauffer said. “The teams that normally win like to win. So it’s fun. It’s what they call a ‘scramble game,’ so everybody has to play their ball a couple of times. So you just can’t have one good golfer and four not-so-good, you have to take turns.”

Among the various volunteers, Angela Kupfer felt passionate to attend. She works in the hospital gift shop while also providing tours for parents who are expecting a child.

“I love working at the hospital for the community and for myself,” she said. “It gives a sense of great pleasure. I came here last year and it was fabulous, a real exciting day.”

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