Nearly 100 women golfers joined world champion golfer Lorena Ochoa and hit the greens at the Valencia Country Club on May 23 to raise $40,500 for the Lorena Ochoa Foundation.
The fifth annual Lorena Ochoa Foundation Charity Classic was organized by Valencia-based manufacturer American Hakko, to help the retire pro golfer – and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee – raise funds supporting the La Barranca Educational Center in Guadalajara.
“We are so glad we can continue providing support for Lorena’s foundation,” said Hitoshi Fujiwara, president and CEO of American Hakko. “It is deeply rewarding to be able to give back and help the communities in which we work.”
The Lorena Ochoa Foundation’s main project is the La Barranca Educational Center, an elementary and middle school for underprivileged children on the outskirts of Guadalajara. The innovative curriculum incorporates learning tools such as art and dialogue, games, exposure to nature and more. Each classroom has two dedicated professors, and in the afternoons the school is open to the community to participate in soccer, judo, computer labs, dance lessons, music and drama workshops.
During the luncheon on May 23, attendees saw a video providing an overview of how the Foundation serves the community, as well as a recap from American Hakko of their recent trip to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the company’s Mexican operations.
Ochoa was the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) rookie of the year in 2003, and player of the year four years in a row. She started playing golf at age five and advanced rapidly. By 13, she was the only player in the world to win for five consecutive years the Junior World International Championship and World Junior Golf Championship. She has won 129 local, national and international titles, 27 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) events and two Majors. In 2010, she stepped back from her golf career to focus on her family, charity work, golf course design and personal projects. This fall, she is being formally inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
American Hakko’s journey toward helping support the school really began when the company took a chance on a new market. Founded in 1984 as an offshoot of its Japanese parent company, the soldering tool manufacturer set up distribution in Mexico in the early 2000s, investing in the country’s economy.
Fujiwara, who wanted to find a way to give back to the communities in which Hakko worked, met Ochoa at a golf tournament. Himself a golfer, Fujiwara knew who she was and had a great deal of respect for her. As he learned more about her charitable work, he wanted to help support it. That led to the organization of the Charity Classic golf tournament, aimed at women golfers. Unlike some charity golf tournaments that bear the name of well-known celebrity golfers, Ochoa makes a point to be present on the course, connecting with every player.
About American Hakko
American Hakko was founded in 1984 as an offshoot of Hakko Corporation, which has been a leading global manufacturer of assembly tools for the electronics industry for over 70 years, with affiliates in Singapore, China, the United States and Mexico. For more information visit www.hakkousa.com.
About the Lorena Ochoa Foundation
Since 2004, the Lorena Ochoa Foundation has worked with other organizations, primarily dedicated to education, and empowering underprivileged children through educational programs, sports, healthy living and self-esteem seminars. For more information visit www.foundacionlorenaochoa.org.