October 8, 2012 dawned sunny and clear, a perfect day for the 17th annual El Camino Heritage golf tournament. The Foundation's light blue and white tournament flags fluttered in the gentle, warm breeze as they greeted the 250 golfers, casino and spa guests, and volunteers who arrived at Half Moon Bay Golf Links and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay to raise funds for El Camino Hospital's Heart & Vascular Institute.
The theme of the day was the America's Cup and nautical décor transformed Mullins restaurant, which was the hub of operations. Arriving guests registered, purchased raffle tickets, shopped in the golf store, learned about the live auction items that would be up for bid at the celebration dinner, and ate a light breakfast before heading off for their activities.
Morning and afternoon golfers played 18 holes along the shimmering Pacific coast, pausing occasionally to whale watch. Spa guests enjoyed lunch on the ocean terrace before moving into the salon for a luxurious afternoon of pampering. Casino guests, joined by morning golfers, tried their luck at the "Monte Carlo Casino," which opened for play at 1:00 p.m.
As the sun began to set, everyone returned to Mullins for an hors d'oeuvre and cocktail reception, then migrated into a large, festively decorated tent for the celebration dinner and live auction. Featured guest Olympic ice hockey legend Jim Craig, goal tender for the United States "Miracle on Ice" team at the 1980 Lake Placid games, spoke inspiringly about how heart disease has impacted his family and about the importance of supporting an outstanding community heart and vascular program like El Camino Hospital's. Spirited bidding ensued for eleven auction items including a private dinner with the hospital CEO and an America's Cup sailing experience for a day. Paddles were raised high as guests generously donated to the fund-in-need appeal. After dinner the morning and afternoon champions received their trophies. The evening closed with an entertaining showing of the recap video, which captured the highlights of a beautiful day.