Thursday, March 26, 2009

Around Town: Herarchical versus non-Hierarchical

For the last four years, we’ve had a golf tournament in memory of our son, Andrew.

The money that we raise supports cancer research at Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI) in Pasadena.

There is no middle man. No foundation. HMRI is a 501c charity. The money we raise goes directly to research. It’s very simple.

This year, there will still be a golf tournament on Monday, June 22, at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club. It will start at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a BBQ awards ceremony for the golfers.

But we’ve decided to split off the evening event. Our daughter Rachel and a bunch of friends — Noelle, Elizabeth, Matt, Steve, Kat and others — are organizing a separate evening fundraiser.

And here’s where it gets interesting.

Right now, the golf tournament has a date (June 22), a venue (La Cañada Flintridge Country Club) and a time (10 a.m.). So far, exactly one person has signed up.

Rachel and Noelle started a “beta” page on Facebook, which announced: Cheers! to Andrew is an event celebrating the life of our former classmate & friend with an evening of food, drinks & fun to benefit Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI). Coming in Late Spring 2009.

Within hours, over 150 people signed up.

Since then, the golf tournament has sent out “save the date” postcards. There will be a newsletter and some ads. A lot of people seem interested. I hope they all come to play golf.

Meanwhile, Cheers! to Andrew is about to announce an awesome venue.

At first, I didn’t get it. But now, I understand.

Andrew touched a lot of people. We are a microcosm of how society approaches digital technology. Facebook is an innovative solution. Cheers! to Andrew is an example of non-hierarchical organizational growth.

A little bit different. And very much alike. We have the same goal: Some day cancer will be a disease of the past.

From the Cheers! to Andrew Facebook page:

A few hours before his death in April 2004, Andrew Torres made his family and friends promise to support cancer research in his memory. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and an active member in the La Cañada and Pasadena community, he was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps when he died of liver cancer at the age of 23.

Andrew’s family and friends have worked to keep that pledge with annual fundraisers for cancer research in Andrew’s honor. In the last four years, we have raised more than $250,000 for Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI), in Pasadena, California. HMRI is conducting a promising research project to target and identify a protein critical to the early detection and diagnosis of liver cancer. Continued financial support is crucial to the success of this important research.

For more about Andrew and the Golf Classic, see
For more about HMRI, see
For more about Cheers! to Andrew, see and


ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. E-mail her at La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California

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