Perhaps it was divine intervention at this year's Mesa Verde Golf Classic hosted by Costa Mesa United. I had the pleasure to work alongside so many selfless people.
I arrived at 6 a.m. and saw not only our Estancia Boosters and members of our City Council, but also football players and cheerleaders from Estancia and Costa Mesa high schools. The coming together of both teams united as one to support an event really shows how our community can pull together for a great cause.
It all benefits our future, so why not give back?
We had great sponsors, volunteers, supporters, camaraderie and raised more than $130,000 for youth sports. But all that was not the only highlight of my experience.
It started off when I was called to deliver equipment to the farthest end of the course. As I pulled up to the bright-colored group of smiling faces, standing next to the largest grill on wheels, I recognized that these were Costa Mesa city employees.
Considering myself a somewhat familiar face in Costa Mesa as an Estancia football booster, father of the "boy" Robert Murtha and a close supporter of our council (Gary Monahan, Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger), I was sure that I was in for a surprise!
And I was.
I was waiting for the whispers to each other, cold shoulder, even maybe some eye rolling with a few OMGs. But instead, I was offered a hot dog, a drink, thank yous and a hug or two. I even reminded city employee Billy Folsom about how we used to live in the same complex and our kids used to swim together. He smiled and embraced me with, "Of course I remember. How's the family been?"
After handing Billy the tools to tighten the tanks, I walked away with a warm hot dog, cold drink and sense of comfort knowing that I helped a group of people who I thought were not going to receive me very well and it ended up being a great experience.
An hour went and I was stuck on the 15th hole with Steve, one of my closest friends. My golf cart had died, and Steve was picking me up. Another cart pulled alongside us, and guess who was in it? The hot dog-slinging city workers.
Seeing me standing next to my buddy, I thought for sure they were going to pass right by without even a look. This wasn't the case at all. They asked for directions and wanted to know if we needed any assistance. They even offered Billy to help. Another offer of drinks and hot dogs was followed by laughter and thank yous between us all. Again, I was humbled.
Despite all our city issues and disagreements, I was proud that day to say I live in a great city. I witnessed the true meaning of being a Costa Mesan and how disagreements can be put on hold that day, and we all come together as one for a great cause. I am not deep into politics and pensions, but I am into this city. I've gained a new respect for our council and city employees.
For the sake of our future, I hope we can all get past our differences, move forward and show the friendship and respect I received that day. This was a perfect example of how Costa Mesa United doesn't just "unite" our youth but the adults as well!
Thank you, Mesa Verde Country Club, Costa Mesa United, our council and city employees for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful and eye-opening day working together for our children.
ROBERT MURTHA is a Costa Mesa resident.