News and announcements for Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region

Sutter Health Sponsors Celebrity Golf Fundraiser to Research Youth Brain Injuries

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Children's Services, Community Benefit, Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter Roseville Medical Center | 0 comments

SACRAMENTO – 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 and other sports.

Toran Maronic at age 5, left, and age 15, the season before suffering a traumatic brain injury during a football scrimmage. Toran was a Division 1 receiver prospect for Bear River High School.

The Game-Changer Celebrity Golf Classic, headlined by many former Oakland Raiders and other NFL and sports 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 Hall of Famer Willie Brown and 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.

Toran miraculously recovered and worked hard during his rehab. He is now hoping to play lacrosse at the college level.

“Every fivesome will be captained by a celebrity, so every golfer will play with one of these sports stars,” said Tournament Director Dave Maronic. “Entry and sponsorship fees are 100 percent tax-deductible because expenses are covered by our title sponsor, Sutter Health. We have no overhead, and organizers are all volunteers. 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.

Exclusive features for participants include:

  • Every entrant golfs with a sports celebrity
  • $100 swag bag
  • Pairings party with Charles Woodson Wines
  • Free food and drinks at event
  • Awards party with steak dinner
  • Raffle prizes and memorabilia auction
  • Autographs and pictures with NFL and other sports greats

Here are the Raiders playing in the tournament:

  • Charles Woodson, DB, 4xAll-Pro, 9xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion, Heisman Trophy winner
  • Jim Plunkett, QB, Oakland Raiders, 2xSuper Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, Heisman Trophy winner
  • Willie Brown, CB, 3xAll-AFL, 2xAll-Pro, 4xPro Bowl, AFL champion, 3xSuper Bowl champion, Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Daryle Lamonica, QB, 2xPro Bowl, 3xAFL champion, 2xAFL MVP
  • Phil Villapiano, LB, 4xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
  • Ted Kwalick, TE, All-Pro, 3xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
  • Raymond Chester, TE, 4xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
  • Rod Martin, LB, Oakland Raiders, 2xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Jeff Barnes, LB, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Michael Bennett, RB, Pro Bowl
  • Ron Fellows, DB, 1981-88
  • Mervyn Fernandez, WR, 1987-92
  • Lincoln Kennedy, OT, 2xAll-Pro, 3xPro Bowl
  • Napoleon McCallum, RB, 1986-94
  • Bob Moore, TE, 1971-75
  • Vance Mueller, RB, 1986-91
  • Mike Siani, WR, Super Bowl champion
  • Art Thoms, DE, 1965-71
  • Teddy Atlas III, Oakland Raiders’ current Scouting Coordinator

In addition, there are several other NFL greats and other sports stars playing, including:

  • Ottis Anderson, RB, St. Louis Cardinals, N.Y. Giants, All-Pro, 2xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears, All-Pro, 7xPro Bowl
  • Dan Bunz, LB, San Francisco 49ers, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Glenn Cadrez, LB, Denver Broncos, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Mark Collins, DB, New York Giants, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Conrad Dobler, OL, St. Louis Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, 3xPro Bowl
  • Loreto Garza, World Boxing Champion
  • Dwight Hicks, FS, San Francisco 49ers, 2xAll-Pro, 4xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Derek Kennard, OL, Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl champion
  • Tony “The Tiger” Lopez, 3xWorld Boxing Champion
  • Leonard Marshall, DE, New York Giants, 2xPro Bowl, 2xSuper Bowl champion
  • Jonathan Ogden, OT, Baltimore Ravens, 4xAll-Pro, 11xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion, Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Harold Pressley, F, Villanova University, Sacramento Kings, NCAA champion
  • Gerald Riggs, RB, Atlanta Falcons, 2xAll-Pro, 3xPro Bowl, Super Bowl champion
  • Willie Roaf, OT, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, 6xAll-Pro, 11xPro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Del Rodgers, RB/KR, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl champion
  • Greg Vaughn, OF/DH, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, 4xAll-Star
  • Charlie Weaver, LB, Detroit Lions
  • Eric Wright, CB, San Francisco 49ers, 2xAll-Pro, 2xPro Bowl, 4xSuper Bowl champion

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


Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Children's Services, Community Benefit, Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter Roseville Medical Center | 0 comments