Inspired by their daughter, Faith, Santa Maria Valley residents Laura and Ronnie DeBrum have been driving forces behind organizing the first annual Golfing for Little Heroes Tournament & Auction, one of their several charitable fund raising activities over the last four years.
Proceeds from the Golfing for Little Heroes Tournament & Auction will be designated to benefit the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, with a portion going to Children's Miracle Network at Cottage Children's Medical Center.
The event will take place at the Santa Maria Country Club Friday, with Laura and Ronnie DeBrum hosting. Registration will take place at 10 a.m. Tee time is set for 11:30 a.m.
"The proceeds will benefit the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation in the Tri-Counties, area, Santa Maria, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties," said Ronnie DeBrum.
Faith DeBrum, 15, is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2015 at age 11. After the diagnosis, Faith DeBrum received Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) services and, while she was undergoing chemotherapy, TBCF sent her to the NBC television series "The Voice," where she met the show's judges, according to a news release.
"She was diagnosed in January of 2015," Ronnie DeBrum told the Times in a phone interview Wednesday. "We were told she was cancer free in May of that year, although she's still in treatment. There's no active cancer."
The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization, with a mission to advocate for families in the tri-counies area that have a child with cancer by providing financial, educational and emotional support, according to a news release.
The organization projects it will help 190 families this year.
Every day in the United States, approximately 70 children are diagnosed with cancer. The average age at the time of diagnosis is six years old.
"We are so grateful for the strong support of the DeBrum family for the work they are doing to help other families going through the crisis of a pediatric cancer diagnosis," TBCF Executive Director Lindsey Leonard said.
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"The funds they raise through the golf tournament will directly help families through our critical program that help families from their child's initial diagnosis, during treatment, and into recovery."
Ronnie DeBrum said Wednesday, "We're almost full," as far as available spots for teams in the golf tournament.
"We have 32 teams. There are four spots left. We're very happy with what the event has brought in through registration so far."
Ronnie DeBrum said, "There have been different levels of donations, anywhere between $300 to be a hole sponsor, to $2,500 corporate donations. We're hoping to reach $40,000 in donations, but that might be a little optimistic. If we can reach $25,000, that will be great."
The DeBrums, Ronnie said, have been active in fund raisers to benefit the TBCF for four years and that Faith helped with the first event the family helped organize, a bike ride to Santa Barbara in May of 2015, the month Faith got her cancer-free diagnosis.
"Laura, Jared Bailey, Crystal Moreno and myself have been the main organizers," for the Golfing for Little Heroes tourney, Ronnie DeBrum said.
"Jared owns Santa Maria Valley Physical Therapy, and he's raised $500,000 in nine years for the Make a Wish Foundation. He's been helping a lot with this.
"Crystal is a very close family friend," said Ronnie DeBrum. "She's probably helped us with every one of these (fundraisers)."
He chuckled. "Except the bike rides. She doesn't like bike rides."
There will be an awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Friday after the tournament, followed by a dinner and live auction at 5:30 p.m. The cost for the dinner for non-golfers is $50.