United Cerebral Palsy Annual Gala and Golf Classic

Story and photos by Pat Krause

United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire held its 17th Annual Gala and Golf Classic event on Dec. 2 and 3. The gala was held at Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa on Sunday evening the 2nd. The Golf Tournament was held on Monday the 3rd at Mission Hills Country Club.

The Gala started with a cocktail hour where guests bid on a great many silent auction items. There were 3 live auction items that were sold during the dinner hour by auctioneer, Kris Long. A video was shown and Greg Wetmore thanked those that came to support UCP. Emcee was Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald. Dennis James son Brad spoke to the guests and also thanked those attending. Honorary Gala Chair was Micki James.

Comedian Josh Blue, who is a victim of Cerebral Palsy entertained, making the guests laugh thru-out his whole performance. Josh Blue is nationally know as the one who won the Last Comedy Standing TV show. He has also made many appearances on other TV shows such as Ellen Degeneres and Regis and Kelly.

Golfers played with over a dozen celebrities that attended. The Lexus Champions for Charity Tournament benefitted UCP. Golfers played for 1st,2nd and 3rd , longest drive and closest to the pin prizes that were awarded after a lunch that was served by Mission Hills Country Club. About 100 golfers played in the tournament on the Arnold Palmer Course. Tournament directors were Ed Atwood and Dave Narz.

Actor and TV host Dennis James started a telethon in 1950 to raise money for Cerebral Palsy Victims. The Telethon lasted until 1997 and ended with his untimely death. His wife Micki James and sons continue to help UCP clients and others with disabilities in the Valley. The charity has branched out to help others like those afflicted with Autism, Down syndrome and mental retardation to name a few.

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