Sunday, August 30 , 2015, 5:57 am | Fair 70.0º




Nonprofit Named for Mallory Dies Teeing Off with Golf Tournament to Fight Drunken Driving

Monday's all-day event at Sandpiper in Goleta will support the Vow4Mal Foundation, an organization formed by the victim's friends and family

Michael Rousso, from left, Bonnie Kwan and Ryan Todey of the Vow4Mal Foundation stand with Sandpiper Golf Club General Manager D.J. Limardi on the course, where a benefit golf tournament for the new nonprofit will be held Monday.

Michael Rousso, from left, Bonnie Kwan and Ryan Todey of the Vow4Mal Foundation stand with Sandpiper Golf Club General Manager D.J. Limardi on the course, where a benefit golf tournament for the new nonprofit will be held Monday.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

The Sandpiper Golf Club in Goleta, with its sprawling views of the Pacific Ocean, will be the scene of an all-day fundraiser on Monday, garnering money for an effort to keep people from drinking and driving, if the dozens of volunteers involved get their way.

It's an impressive effort by the leaders of the Vow4Mal Foundation, a new nonprofit formed by friends and family of Mallory Dies, who was killed last month after being struck by an alleged drunken driver in downtown Santa Barbara.

The fundraiser — which was organized in a month — could have easily taken a year to do, were it not for the depth of affection the community held for Dies, who worked as a bartender at Tonic and who was well known by many in the hospitality industry and beloved by supervisors and peers alike.

The Greater Santa Barbara Restaurant & Lodging Association gave a $250 check to the foundation this week in honor of Mallory, and the group has raised more than $40,000 since a fundraiser held downtown last month.

The outreach to the family has been heartfelt, even down to where they stay when they come into town for court dates or meetings. Each time the Dies family has been in town, O'Malley's owners Dan and Carolyn Baham, have let the family stay for free at their home, according to Ryan Todey, a close friend of Mallory's helping to spearhead the event.

Companies also have been generous with offerings for Monday's event.

The golf tournament has some impressive prizes — including a Chevrolet SS Camaro donated by William L. Morris Chevrolet, and a ball drop over the 18th hole from a helicopter donated by Santa Barbara Helicopter Tours, in which the owner of the ball that gets the closest to the hole will win a customized set of Nike golf clubs.

Professional golfer Anthony Kim will be on hand, conducting mini-workshops with players before the tournament.

The all-day event will begin with tee-off at 10 a.m. at Sandpiper, and a ticket for the day runs $200 per person and includes golf, a gift bag, and lunch and dinner. The funds raised from Monday's tournament will help the foundation get off the ground.

People can also come for the dinner only, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased through NightOut.com by clicking here.

Holdren's will be providing the dinner served at the event, including chicken and tri-tip, and Shalhoob will be providing lunch for the golfers.

Local reggae band Iration will be playing an acoustic set during the evening.

As the group gears up for next week's event, they're excited about spreading the message and honoring Dies' memory.

On Thursday, Todey talked about the nascent foundation's work in their office space, a donated room adjoining a warehouse in downtown Santa Barbara, which has all the trappings of a startup, complete with a folding conference table, white board lists in magic marker and empty soda cans.

The group has been working nonstop to make this fundraiser work, Todey said.

The white board at one end of the office listed dozens of donors that have stepped up for the event, and the list is an impressive one.

The group is operating under the umbrella of the Santa Barbara Foundation, and "we think the partnership is really going to help us," he said. "We're all very green in this area, and to have a big brother to help is just awesome."

Todey and the group picture a Mal membership card, "kind of like an Axxess Card," and cab companies will have decals identifying whether they accept the discounts. The company will take people home and the foundation will be invoiced, which will forward the bill to the person who accepted the ride. If someone hits a threshold, like three cab rides without paying, they'll be considered abusing the system, Todey said.

It's all part of their effort to "eliminate the excuses" for not taking a cab home after drinking, he said.

They're working to partner with companies such as Lucky Cab and Uber, which is offering a sign-up deal. When people use the promo code "4Mal," they will get a $15 credit to their account and the foundation also gets a $10 donation, Todey said.

Lucky Cab and Uber will also be helping with transportation to and from Monday's event to get people safely home.

Todey also said the group will be going into local schools to help kids understand the importance of avoiding drinking and driving.

"Our goal is to talk about Mallory, talk about what happened and try to get a couple generations of kids saying it's not OK to drink and drive," he said.

When drinking and driving becomes uncool, "you're more worried about your friends finding out than your parents," and peer pressure could work to keep kids safe.

For more information about Monday's event, contact Todey at [email protected]. To make a direct donation to the foundation, email [email protected].

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




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