Scheduled for Monday, May 9 at Manteca Park Golf Course, this is the second annual Tee-Off for Travis Memorial Golf Tournament. Named for Escalon High School 2000 graduate Travis Lopez who died in late May 2020, the event benefits the World Changer Scholarship, a fund Travis created specifically for San Jose State University students. Manteca Park Golf Course is located at 305 N. Union Road, Manteca.
Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the scramble-format golf tournament itself begins with a tee shot at 12:30 p.m.
The tournament ends between 5 and 5:30 p.m., with food and drinks at the clubhouse after the competition ends. There will be raffle prizes, silent auction items, and updates on the World Changer Scholarship Program.
Last year was the inaugural tournament and Travis’ mother-in-law, Robin Lopez of Tracy, said he exceeded all expectations.
“We thought as long as we don’t lose money,” she said of the first event, not knowing what to expect. “Our goal was $5,000 and we raised $20,000 the first year. We had 122 golfers.
After Travis passed away, his family and friends wanted to do something to keep his World Changer scholarship going, and Robin said it was several of his high school friends who suggested the golf tournament.
“He passed away after years of battling mental illness,” Robin explained. “He graduated from EHS in 2000 and would have been 40 this year. We are approaching the second anniversary (of his passing) and May is Mental Illness Awareness Month. People with mental illness, many don’t look sick, but they need help, they need guidance.
Lopez family partner nonprofits that will be represented at the tournament include McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter; NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness; and Tracy Interfaith Ministries.
“It’s a fun way to raise money for the scholarship fund,” added Robin. “It’s an 18-hole course, we have room for a few more golfers and they can register online.”
People can also go online to donate and everyone, tournament or not, is invited to attend the post-tournament gathering in the clubhouse for the party, raffle and sale. at auction.
“Last year was a huge success,” Robin said, noting that the family was overwhelmed and appreciated the support.
Robin and Ray, Travis’ father, live in Tracy and his mother, Teri Stuart, lives in Escalon. Travis was the middle of three Lopez children, with older brother Tony living in Washington state and younger sister Taylor living in Denair.
Robin previously worked with the Tracy Chamber of Commerce and said she helped organize golf tournaments in conjunction with that organization. So she was comfortable helping organize the Tee-Off for Travis event. At press time, they had 116 golfers registered for the tournament this year.
“We also have a ton of raffle prizes given away; the outpouring of support has been tremendous,” added Robin.
The first World Changer scholarship following the tournament was presented in April and was a $2,500 reward. The criteria, Robin said, include being a student in good standing at San Jose State University and coming up with an idea that “can change the world.”
This year’s recipient suggested the idea that all teachers and school counselors should take courses in mental illness, so they can better intervene with their students.
“He started the scholarship in 2013, he was so in school when he went back, he graduated with honors,” Robin said of Travis graduating from San Jose State after going to college. university, taking a break and then coming back. “He decided he wanted to create a scholarship for those who think outside the box, promote innovative social ideas, show their creativity and innovation.”
Prior to his passing, Travis himself awarded at least two World Change scholarships, Robin said, and the family wants to continue that legacy.
For more information on the tournament, sponsorship opportunities or donations to the World Changer Scholarship Fund contact [email protected]