By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
The recent caronavirus has effected all of us in different ways. Kids out of school, parents laid off, no MLB or NBA. College and high school sports were also shut down.
George Lopez and Jeffery Osborne are two “City Guys” who have done pretty good for themselves and have chosen to give back to the communities in which they came from and to many others.
Lopez is a native of Los Angeles (Mission Hills) California. Osbourne was born in Providence, Rhode Island. They both have annual golf tournaments to raise funds for various charities and organizations.
The bad common element they share this year is due to COVID-19 both tournaments were postponed. George Lopez Celebrity Golf Tournament was in its 13th year in 2020. However this year its website states: “As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve have decided to postpone the 13th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic. We’re looking forward to getting back on the course in late fall to raise money for our kidney families!”
The event always takes place the first week Monday in May near the time of Cinco de Mayo.
“I know where I will be the first Monday in May every year” says Roland Martin veteran newscaster and T.V. contributor. “Where ever I am working I let them know I need that weekend off.”
It’s a three-day event that has a dinner and gathering the previous weekend. The Lakeside Country Club in Taluca Lake is the host site. Money raised goes to the George Lopez Foundation. The Foundations mission is to create positive permanent change for underprivileged children, adults and military families confronting challenges in education and health, as well as increasing community awareness about kidney disease.
In 2005 Lopez was a transplant recipient from his then wife Ann. His foundation has sent hundreds of kids with kidney problems to camp help giving them encouragement and life lasting memories.
Jeffery Osborne Celebrity Classic was founded in 2012 and is run by Osborne his family. It’s generally held in August near Jeffery’s hometown of Providence. Jeffery has used several sites including The Carnegie Abbey Club in Portsmouth, RI. And Foxwood Resort Casino in Connecticut. It is one of Southern New England’s premier summer events.
Osborne raises money for six non-profits including the Boys and Girls Club of Providence, The MET a network of six public high schools in Providence, THE AMOS HOUSE anon-profit social service agency, The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School. Also, there’s St. Mary’s founded in 1877 as an orphanage however today it’s a treatment facility for boys and girls who have suffered abuse.
“I grew up in Rhode Island and music was as a huge part of my upbringing,” said Osborne. “I want to help bring that experience to Rhode Island’s next generation of aspiring musicians and students.”
Supporters who make regular appearances include: Cedric The Entertainer, Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Rick Barry, Julius “Dr. J” Erving and the UCLA connection of Bill Walton and Jim Harrick.
“When Jeffery calls we come,” said Ahmad Rashad. “He does a great job in helping his community, we all want to support him.”
Ervin “Magic “Johnson has been friend with Osborne dating back to his playing days with the Lakers. Osborne sang the National Anthem several times at the Forum. At one of Jeffery’s events Magic was an auctioneer and raised $250,000 in a 45 minutes. They have vacationed together with their wives.
Grammy winner Smokey Robinson summed up why the event is successful. “We come because of him and there are so many great charities that he helps out, I am proud to be a part of this.”