RANCHO SANTA FE — Actors Grant Show (“Melrose Place” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) and Alfonso Ribeiro (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) will be in town this weekend to serve as co-hosts of the 20th annual Fresh Start Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Morgan Run Club & Resort.The event takes place March 18 and March 19 and supports Fresh Start Surgical Gift’s mission of providing reconstructive surgeries and related healthcare services for children throughout the United States and abroad suffering from physical deformities.The festivities begin on Sunday with a pre-tournament reception at 6 p.m. and welcome dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Morgan Run. Comedian Michael Pace will serve as emcee.
The guest speaker is “Carmen,” a Fresh Start patient from Vista. The party also includes a live and silent auction.
The following day foursomes will be paired with celebrity athletes that include Marcus Allen, John Carney, Vince Coleman, Quentin Jammer, David Justice and James Lofton as well as actors Christopher Knight (“The Brady Bunch”) and David Leisure (“Empty Nest” and pitch man Joe Isuzu). Registration is at 9 a.m. and a shotgun start at 11 a.m.
Each group will participate in contests, and sample food and beverages, at each hole compliments of the Handlery Hotel, Casanova Fish Tacos, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Bare Back Grill, Famous Dave’s, The Brigantine and Tango Del Rey.
Fresh Start was founded in 1991 by the late Dr. Dennis Nigro, a local plastic surgeon. Since its inception, more than 5,600 children have received surgical and medical care valued at more than $21 million. Fresh Start has grown from a handful of volunteers to about 550.
During surgery weekends, which are held six to seven times a year in a Fresh Start suite at Rady Children’s Hospital, nearly 100 children receive services ranging from surgery, laser treatments and dental procedures to speech therapy. A team of surgeons, physicians, nurses and other medical professionals volunteer their services so that there is no cost to the families.
After receiving their physical transformation, children experience renewed strength and inner confidence and are able to go on and lead a healthy and productive life.
John Carney has volunteered for the event since the beginning.
“These youth who come to Fresh Start have a situation where they have a strike against them,” he said. “I enjoy being part of an organization and part of a movement that removes that strike so that children can go back to their schools and go back to their communities with a fresh start.”
Added Marcus Allen, also a veteran of the event, “I give money to Fresh Start because I believe in their cause and what they are doing for young kids.”
In 1992, Fresh Start was recognized as a “Point of Light” by President George H.W. Bush. In 1993, President Bill Clinton personally presented Fresh Start with the Volunteer Action Award. The cost is $85 for dinner and $700 for individual golfers and $2,500 for foursomes. Sponsorships start at $500.
To date, sponsors include EDCO; Marine Air; Dowling & Yahnke; Davlyn Investments; The Doctors Company; Cars.com; Godes & Preis; Moore, Schulman & Moore; Dave and Judy Cours; Nestle; AXA Advisors; Sycuan; Viejas and AutoTrader.com.
Morgan Run is located at 5690 Cancha De Golf in Rancho Santa Fe. Tickets can be purchased at freshstart.org.