Sutter Health Sponsors Celebrity Golf Classic Benefiting Football Brain Injury Research

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Mental Health News
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SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Northern California's Sutter Health signed on to be the title sponsor of

a celebrity golf tournament raising funds for research on traumatic brain injuries in high school football.

The Game-Changer Celebrity Golf Classic, headlined by many former Oakland Raiders and other NFL greats, will be held June

16 and 17 at Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin, Calif. The event is presented by three nonprofit organizations focused on high school football brain injuries.

"The cooperation between the three nonprofits – T3 Charities, 21 Strong and Practice Like Pros – has been amazing, and the fantastic response from members of the NFL is heart-warming knowing they are supportive of our cause," said Jeffrey R. Jenkins, M.D., chief medical executive of Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital. "I am also grateful to all of our sponsors for helping bring this issue to the greater public. Because of this spirit of cooperation, we will be able to make a huge difference in the knowledge about detection, prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injuries among high school athletes."

The tournament is hosted by the family of 17-year-old Toran Maronic of Bear River High School in Grass Valley, who was a college prospect in football and lacrosse. In June 2016, the wide receiver was brain-injured during a 7-on-7 scrimmage. Specialists believed Toran would never come out of his coma or fully recover, but he did and is now awaiting clearance to pursue playing lacrosse again. He became the first patient enrolled in groundbreaking scientific research on "second-impact syndrome" among high school football players.

Proceeds of the tournament will go to the research project, which is being conducted by Robert C. Cantu, M.D., co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston. The research is sponsored by Practice Like Pros, which encourages high school football programs to hold practices like the NFL does. According to the group, just 2½ percent of NFL injuries happen during practices, while 58 percent of high school injuries occur at practice.

Former Oakland Raiders greats Jim Plunkett, Ted Kwalick, Daryle Lamonica, Phil Villapiano, Rod Martin and Charles Woodson are among the three-dozen sports celebrities participating in the golf tournament. Every player who signs up will be in a five-some captained by one of the celebrities. Entry and sponsorship fees are tax-deductible.

"We have no overhead, and our organizers are all volunteers," said tournament host and Toran's father, David Maronic. "Every dime will go to our charities."

The event begins Friday, June 16, with a pairing party hosted by Charles Woodson Wines at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, with the golfing at Whitney Oaks on Saturday, June 17. That evening, the event returns to Thunder Valley with cocktails, awards and an auction of football memorabilia and other items.

To sign up for the event as a player or sponsor, go to For more information on the tournament or sponsorships, email David Maronic at or call (510) 693-9566.

Sutter Health was named one of the nation's top five large health systems in 2016 thanks to its integrated network of physician, employee and volunteer pioneers—more than 60,000 people strong. Rooted in Sutter Health's not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care. For more information about the Sutter Health network visit

T3 Charities, a foundation in support of Bear River High School's Toran Maronic, is dedicated to helping local families in need. Visit

21 Strong Foundation was formed after a November 2016 traumatic brain injury suffered by a player at The Woodlands High School in Texas. It provides assistance nationwide to families affected by such tragedies. See 

Practice Like Pros is a national movement to reduce needless injury in high school football, endorsed by Mike Ditka, Archie Manning, Tony Dorsett, Ronnie Lott, Warren Moon, Anthony Munoz and dozens of other progressive minds from football and medical science. Visit



To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Sutter Health


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