Standing at a strapping 6-foot-7, Marco Tolj is quite literally the big man on campus at Hollywood High School.
Now in his fourth year as assistant principal, Tolj has his fingerprints all over the school, both in the hallways and on the fields in his secondary role overseeing the athletic department.
An aspect of Tolj's job is to brainstorm for ways to help the many sports teams that represent the school. One of those ideas, and perhaps the one with the most potential, is the Hollywood High Golf Classic.
Now entering its third year, the Golf Classic — scheduled for Thursday, June 30 at California Country Club in Whittier — is a community-driven fundraiser that donates all proceeds to the student-athletes at Hollywood High.
Tolj, an avid golfer, is the chief organizer. The event has raised close to $9,000 in its first two years and Tolj is hoping the third edition will be the most successful yet.
"I decided this is a good way to raise some money, and a great way to get the community involved," Tolj said. "The funds allow us to purchase equipment, uniforms, all the basic things we need. With the budget crisis, it's very hard for the school to set aside real funding for sports, making this a huge help."
Tolj said the bond between Hollywood High and the community and its businesses is growing, but there is still a ways to go. He is actively searching for sponsors to get behind the school.
"Our goal is to have it become the type of event where businesses contact us about it, we gather alumni, and folks in community help out," he said. "It's going to get there, it's just going to take some time."
The $130 entree fee includes lunch, golf (with cart), dinner, a raffle and a gift bag for every participant. Special prizes will be handed out to the top three finishers, the longest drive and the closest shot to the pin. Cash and others prizes will also be awarded.
For those who want to just attend the raffle and dinner, the cost is $50.
The sports program is turning the corner at Hollywood. The school board recently approved a $4.9-million partnered grant between the American Youth Soccer Association and LAUSD to completely renovate the high school field for multi-purpose use. The well-worn grass sod will be replaced by FieldTurf and the dirt track will be jettisoned in favor of a state-of-the-art synthetic surface. A new scoreboard will also be installed.
It is a much-needed upgrade, putting Hollywood on even-footing with the new high schools that have opened in the area in recent years. Construction is set to being next spring with a completion targeted in time for the football season in fall 2012.
"We're going to share that field with the community and they're going to love it," Tolj said. "Hopefully we can create a buzz and expand on some relationships we have."
To discuss sponsorship opportunities or for more information on The Third Annual Hollywood High School Golf Classic, call Marco Tolj at (323) 993-1789 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To obtain a print version of the sign-up brochure, follow this link. All registration forms must be turned in with payment no later than June 17.