Golfers, supporters and sponsors came together at the Maderas Golf Club in Poway to raise money for Palomar College students.

POWAY — The President’s Invitational Golf Classic, an annual tournament and fund-raiser hosted by the Palomar College Foundation, raised more than $170,000 with approximately 100 golfers participating at the scenic Maderas Golf Club on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

With golfers teeing off just before noon, the tournament wrapped up as the rain began falling on a cloudy day that participants described as ideal for a round of golf for a good cause.

“It was so good to be there in person,” said Stacy Rungaitis, Executive Director of the Palomar College Foundation. “There was so much joy and excitement to be together, in person, on the golf course—people were smiling, having a good time, and they were just happy to be there supporting Palomar. It was such a positive Palomar day.”

During the event, Palomar College’s Superintendent/President, Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey, shared her story of growing up in North County and attending college locally.

“Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Invitational, whether by sponsoring, golfing or bidding online,” said Dr. Rivera-Lacey. “The generosity of our community continues to amaze and inspire me, and we look forward to seeing more dreams come true, and more goals accomplished, as a result of this fund-raiser.”

Added Rungaitis: “Dr. Rivera-Lacey really helped our guests understand what their philanthropy can do for our students.”

Thanks to a special grant to underwrite the costs of the event, the funds raised at the Golf Classic will be used entirely to help Palomar College students succeed in pursuit of their education and career training through scholarships, textbook assistance, and emergency grants.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, the Foundation has provided hundreds of emergency grants and sponsored widespread distribution of computers and other technology to help students who might otherwise not be able to continue their education.

For the first time this year, the Foundation held its President’s Invitational charity auction online, generating nearly $15,000 in proceeds before bids were closed at 5:30 p.m., during the post-tournament cocktail reception.

“This was the first time we’ve done an online auction, which allowed us to open it up to other folks, besides the golfers, to bid on those items,” said Rungaitis.

She added that the threat of rain early in the day “did not dampen the event at all—the camaraderie, the great results.”