I learned to give, not because I have much, but because I know exactly what it feels like to have nothing.
I grew up in Mexicali in a home with dirt floors and no plumbing. I was the youngest of 11 brothers and sisters. As a kid, I would fish balls out of the Mexicali County Club pond and sell them back to golfers. My first “set of clubs” consisted of only one club, a 7 iron I had found in the water while fishing for balls in a ditch next to the golf course. I did everything with that club from tee to green. It demonstrates how starting with next to nothing you can go on to live a dream.
Golf was not my first passion. During my early adulthood I was a professional boxer hoping that I could use my prize fighting earnings to help my family. After four (04) years as a boxer with a 16-1 record, my career ended due to appendicitis.
With the help of family and friends I pursued my another passion, golf. I learned how to play golf by watching the golfers at the country club and practicing endless hours at dawn and dusk.
At 19 years old I met Jon and Rita Minnis, a couple that believed in me and gave me the chance to pursue my dreams. The possibility of a poor brown-skin boy, who learned to play golf in the dirt, to become a PGA tour golf player was statistically less than 1 in 1000 odds. I probably had better odds of beating Mike Tyson in boxing.
Today, I stand here as a successful PGA Tour/Champions to prove to all that everything is possible. You just need God, grit, and the support of people who believed in you.
WHAT WE ARE AIMING FOR
We are building a 3,600 square foot facility in Mexicali for 30 orphans/foster children to call home. This home will provide a safe, comfortable and nurturing environment for the children. The east wing bedrooms and bathrooms are for the girls, and the west wing bedrooms and bathrooms are for the boys. There are living quarters for two resident assistants. Amenities include: study room, game room, library, dining room, social room, medical office staffed by a doctor and dentist, and a playground with a partial-sized soccer field. The home is close to the school and church. The facility is owned by our foundation and operated in partnership with the D.I.F. (Mexico's governmental agency committed to protect vulnerable children.)