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Monday, Nov 28, 2022


Fishing Tales

­When the Stars & Stripes Tournament got its start in 1996, it was used as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.

Founder Dicko Gebhard “wanted to create a fundraiser unlike any other and combine fishing, golfing and music,” according to the Irvine-based Stars & Stripes Foundation, which now uses the annual event in Cabo San Lucas to serve a variety of youth-oriented philanthropic groups in Southern California and Mexico.

More than $40 million has been raised over the subsequent years. The event is named “after the children it helps—the real stars of the tournament—and the striped marlin in the Sea of Cortez,” the foundation’s website says.

The group’s recently concluded four-day event, marking its 25th anniversary, was its most successful, reports Baldwin & Sons founder and chairman Al Baldwin, a longtime backer and board member.

“We raised over $5 million this year,” the homebuilding exec said.

More than 1,000 attended, including OC notables such as American Career College’s David Pyle, Golden State FoodsMark Wetterau, Ivo Tjan of CommerceWest Bank, Tim Ryan of the Honda Center and Anaheim Ducks, Latham & Watkins’ Charles Ruck, F&M Bank’s Henry Walker and Pimco’s David Flattum.

Along with the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, proceeds went to Miracles for Kids, the Orangewood Foundation, Tilly’s Life Center and several other groups. One of this year’s honorary charities, Orange-based plastic surgery group Mission Plasticos, brought a team of nine doctors who completed 34 reconstructive surgeries to locals.


Halo for Freedom Warrior Foundation, which provides support for wounded military personnel, was one of the honorary charities for the latest Stars & Stripes event.

Next month sees the return of another notable local event: War Heroes on Water, a sportfishing tournament that helps combat-wounded veterans recover from the physical and emotional wounds of war. WHOW holds its fifth tournament from Sept. 23-27.

The event, featuring a boat parade at Newport Harbor and fishing near Catalina Island, will directly serve 125 veterans aboard 50 sportfishing yachts from Southern California and beyond, officials say. Organizers seek to raise a record $1.7 million this year.

The event is the brainchild of loanDepot Inc. (NYSE: LDI) founder and Executive Chairman Anthony Hsieh, a noted collector of sportfishing yachts and fishing aficionado; his mortgage company sponsors the ballpark of the Miami Marlins.

More information can be found at warheroesonwater.com.


Fishing’s up this summer in OC, but tennis is down.

World Team Tennis, headquartered out of Laguna Beach, in July said it would cancel its 2022 season, meaning the Orange County Breakers will have to wait a season to defend its title.

The league plans to add expansion franchises—fees are $1 million per team—and return to home match play in the summer of 2023, according to WTT Chairman and Chief Executive Eric Davidson, co-founder of Newport Beach-based senior homecare operator Vintage Senior Living.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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