It was a warm Sunday evening in the pool area of the W Hotel in Westwood, California, just a few blocks south of UCLA. It was the setting for the red carpet event for UCLA Football head coach Jim Mora and his wife Shannon Mora‘s VIP Appreciation Celebrity Cocktail Reception for the Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic. It was a who’s who of UCLA football greats.
And what brought it together… The Count On Me Family Foundation.
Jim and Shannon Mora both founded the Count On Me Family Foundation in 2005 with a focus on helping children who would otherwise not have the resources to achieve their potential because of socio-economic, mental or physical challenges, per the foundation’s website.
For ten years, the Moras has sought to help children’s charities from the foundation’s origins in Atlanta to Seattle and now Los Angeles, where Mrs. Mora did not mind stating that this is where she hope it stayed. Go Bruins.
Once the event started you knew it was going to be something special when former UCLA quarterback Matt Stevens started things off on the red carpet.
Stevens told Go Joe Bruin, “[Mora] and his wife, they are in the community, they are making a difference. To have a coach that has great success and then to have him and his wife do something that the Count On Me Foundation represents, UCLA is truly blessed to have the Mora family.”
The sentiments were matched when UCLA quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone talked to us. “Coach Mora has that platform where you can get the awareness out and a lot of people coming together and I think that is great that all these guys come out. Football players, basketball players, baseball players and go for one cause.”
We even got to talk to Jim Mora, Sr. and get his take on what his son and daughter in-law have achieved, though he gave most of the credit to Shannon. “It seems to get bigger and bigger every year and I am really proud of the job they do. I think Shannon does most of the work, in fact I know she does to put this event on. She has a great group of people that work with her and as you say, it seems to get better and better.”
If that was not enough, we also got to talk to the power couple themselves as they got off the red carpet. Coach Mora started, “Shannon and I started this foundation ten years ago, to help children in need and at risk and to empower children. This is our primary fund raiser, our golf tournament.”
As for the caliber of people who were at this event, Coach Mora told us, “Shannon is the biggest name here, but after that, Troy [Aikman] is here, Maurice Jones-Drew is here and I think 7 NFL Hall of Fame players are here, so it is pretty exciting times.” Wow.
When we talked to Mrs. Mora, she was not only proud of the foundation, but gave one of the biggest thanks to Bruin fans, “It has been phenomenal, the community has been so supportive, especially the Bruin community.”
Stay with Go Joe Bruin as we cover the celebrity golf tournament live from the Riviera Country Club on Monday, May 18 .