Actor/Comedian George Lopez hosted his first annual National Kidney Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, Calif., where stars like Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Ray Romano, Joe Mantegna, Joe Pesci and Cheech Marin all joined Lopez to pitch, putt and drive for a good cause.
"The health concerns of people with kidney issues are something that’s very prevalent," Andy Garcia tells OK!. "It’s affected me in that a family friend of mine had complications and ended up passing away. So this is something that we can all take seriously."
Kidney Disease has even more direct connection to the event’s host, who in 2005 received a kidney transplant from his wife, Ann Lopez.
"I didn’t know I was sick until it was too late for me to save my kidneys," Lopez tells OK!. "I thought I was going to face a life of dialysis and then my wife matched."
Lopez adds, "Career wouldn’t even matter. If you don’t have your health it doesn’t matter how much money you have. Fame is fleeting and health is for life."
The golf event, which raised $400,000 for the charity, saw a foursome that included Charlie Day of Always Sunny in Philadelphia walk away with the trophy. All involved agreed the tournament was in good fun, and yet not without a strong dose of friendly competition!
“The strike has put me on hold a bit so I’ve been playing a lot of golf,” actor Dennis Haysbert tells OK!. “ All of these guys are good. We’re competitive and we’re here for fun. Anyone that plays golf is competitive.”
Keeping the mood light was a heavy dose of joke-cracking which went on throughout the day. One guy in attendance for the laughs was actor Cheech Marin.
“George is my best bud,” he tells OK!. “It’s very important for him, the kidney foundation, and it also wipes out 150 hours of court mandated community service for me, so everybody wins.”
By: Jon Warech
For more information on the National Kidney Foundation visit the web at www.kidney.org.