Charles Fazzino, one of the most popular and highly collected pop artists of all time, donatED a piece of artwork (pictured here) specifically designed for the Rehab Golf Classic and the San Diego community as part of Alvarado Hospital’s adaptive golf tournament.

This golf tournament is the only one of its kind in San Diego and was held on Oct. 11, 2012.

During more than 30 years as a pop artist, Fazzino has inserted his unique, detailed, vibrant and 3D style of artwork into the very fabric of popular culture. Fazzino’s artworks are exhibited in hundreds of museums and galleries in more than 20 different countries. This artwork now hangs in Alvarado Hospital's lobby.

Fazzino chose this unique tournament because it is a one-of-a-kind event that pairs physically challenged golfers with able-bodied players to increase awareness about golf as a therapetic tool.

Most of the challenged golfers have survived a stroke, traumatic brain injury or amputation. Because of the large military population in San Diego, many of the participants are wounded warriors.

"The SoCal Rehab Golf Classic is a unique tournament to the San Diego Area," said Mary Williams, event coordinator and therapeutic recreation coordinator at Alvarado Hospital. "We promote restorative golf programs for golfers of all physical abilities."

The tournament provides an opportunity for stroke survivors and other with disabilities to play in a recreational and competitive event. It is a four-player scramble format. Teams will be comprised of at least two individuals with a physical challenge. Participants will play 9 holes on a regulation course. Physically challenged golfers will have the option to play from designated forward tees.

The tournament was created 10 years ago by John Klein, a PGA professional, and Mary Williams, a recreational therapist from the San Diego Rehabilitation Institute at Alvarado Hospital. Klein has a background in therapeutic recreation from SDSU, special education and adapted physical education. He has been teaching children and adults with disabilities (physical and cognitive) to play golf for 35 years.

Klein works with many of the rehab centers in San Diego in addition to Alvarado, including Sharp Memorial and Grossmont hospitals.

"My goal is to start our challenged players off at a par 3 course, and as they gain experience, move to an executive course and then a full length course,” Klein said.

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