About 800 young business professionals volunteered last week at the Nissan Los Angeles Open golf tournament, a 68-year-old event that raised $400,000 last year for more than 40 charitable and community service projects.
Organized and hosted by the Downtown-based Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce, the tournament in Pacific Palisades is the oldest civic-sponsored Professional Golfers Assn. Tour event and the Junior Chamber's major annual fund-raiser. The Junior Chamber uses the proceeds for its community service projects, which include hosting an annual foster family picnic and helping coordinate the L.A. Watts Summer Games.
Nissan Motor Corp. became the title sponsor in 1989.
Volunteering at the tournament, held at the Riviera Country Club, provides Junior Chamber members with not only a chance to rub elbows with golf professionals and Hollywood celebrities, but also to help disadvantaged youths, spokeswoman Susan Forte said.
John Archibold, one of the Junior Chamber members who helped at the tournament, said that despite the long hours that many volunteers devoted to the internationally televised event, "it wasn't really work because you know it's going to a worthy cause. Plus, it's good people involved and a lot of fun."
One thousand volunteers worked behind the scenes organizing crowds, escorting golfers and managing parking and traffic.
Organizers also said the closure of the Santa Monica Freeway and other earthquake damage did not deter volunteers or tournament visitors.