Charity Golf Tournament Benefiting
the Santa Cruz Spinal Cord Society

The History


What once started as a golf tournament that was formed by a group of friends as simply a pleasurable experience soon become a traditional event and a consistent charitable money-raising endeavor.


In 1983, a collection of friends including, Jim & Donny Tedsen, Andy Whittman, Jeff Moise, Dave Alley, Jeff Tokunaga, and a host of others got together and decided they would organize a golf tournament that they along with friends could participate in for the purpose of enjoying both the recreation of golf as well as each others company. Initially this tournament filled 30-40 spots and raised funds that were only necessary to cover the cost of expenses. As it turned out, the players had tremendous fun and decided to make it an annual event.


However, a couple things came to pass in the next two years that changed the direction and focus of this tournament: the need for a name or theme to increase awareness and acquire more players, as well as the concept of making it a fundraiser.


The name came about with the spirit and the sense of humor that has become associated with this successful golf tournament. Legend has it that one of the original founders apparently encountered several attractive young ladies that just so happened to live in a trailer park called “The Flamingo”. After throwing in the color “pink”, the theme emerged as an institution, including the encouragement of all players to wear the color pink in any form and included on any apparel, hence, the name “The Pink Flamingo” was initiated.


With regard to the charitable aspect, turning this golf tournament into a fundraiser emerged in 1984 and coincided with a life-altering accident of one of the friends of the founders named Mike Leimbach.


In 1983 Mike suffered a paralyzing football accident at the annual SCCAL Football Jamboree. Consequently, the first annual “Pink Flamingo” Invitational Golf Tournament was established as a fund raising event in 1984 for the Friends of Mike Leimbach. Since then, this tournament has benefited an organization called the Spinal Cord Society (SCS) for which Mike and his family are the presidents of the Santa Cruz Chapter. The SCS is an organization that is dedicated to developing a treatment to cure paralysis and has demonstrated an unparalleled goal oriented approach to achieving this end.