La Sierra University’s Frank Jobe Memorial Gala was attended by hundreds of Riverside area dignitaries on Wednesday, October 23 at the Riverside Convention Center.

Proceeds from this event will benefit athletics scholarships, enabling athletes to pursue both their competitive and educational dreams at La Sierra University.

“It was a great pleasure to attend this entertaining and inspiring event where our community joined together to help so many young student athletes on their way to becoming successful community and business leaders,” says Ali Sahabi, who developed the award-winning Dos Lagos community in the City of Corona.  Sahabi is the principal of the Optimum Group, a development company and Optimum Seismic, one of California leading earthquake retrofit companies.

DR. FRANK JOBE GALA– Among attendees at the Frank Jobe Memorial Gala were (l to r): Tim Evans, MDiv, CFRE, Co-Founder the Unforgettables Foundation; Dr. Lawrence “Larry” T. Geraty, president emeritus of La Sierra University; and Ali Sahabi, President of the Optimum Group.

Dr. Jobe, a celebrated sports orthopaedic surgeon and long-time Los Angeles Dodgers team physician, performed the first ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery in 1974 on the left elbow of Tommy John, a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher. The procedure became known as ‘Tommy John’ surgery. Dr. Jobe performed the crucial operation on more than 1,000 pitchers of varying ability over the years. He is credited with prolonging or saving the careers of 150 professional baseball players.

Dr. Jobe graduated from La Sierra University in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He studied medicine at Loma Linda’s College of Medical Evangelists, now Loma Linda University School of Medicine. In 1965, along with sports medicine physician Robert Kerlan, he founded the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. He was honored as La Sierra University’s Alumnus of the Year in April 2013, and in July of that year received a special recognition from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. during its Hall of Fame Weekend. Jobe passed away on March 6, 2014, at age 88.

The event also celebrated the 80th birthday of Riverside community giant Stan Morrison, who serves as the Athletics Advisory Chair of La Sierra University.

Morrison, a former college basketball coach and athletic director, is the only coach in NCAA history to lead three different basketball teams from the same state to the NCAA Tournament. Morrison enjoyed a successful career. He coached various teams, including the University of Southern California and San Jose State. In 1999, Morrison became the Athletic Director for the University of California, Riverside. Since retirement, Morrison has been involved in the local community and has served on several non-profit organization boards, including La Sierra University’s Athletics Advisory Board.

The black-tie event also featured basketball legend Bill Walton as keynote speaker. Walton, a former basketball player and sports commentator, had a prominent career in the NBA. The recipient of three successive College Player of the Year Awards during his time with the UCLA Bruins, Walton was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1974. He was named the NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player in 1977. Walton also played for the San Diego Clippers from 1979-1984 and the relocated Los Angeles Clippers in 1985. Nine years after his first championship title he earned another with the Boston Celtics in 1986. After his retirement as a player, Walton became a successful television sportscaster, for which he received an Emmy in 2001.

HONORING DR. JOBE – Among those attending the Frank Jobe Memorial Gala were (l to r); John Thomas, Ph.D. dean of the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University; Pastor Paul S. Munford, New Joy Baptist Church in Riverside and President of the Riverside Clergy Association; Ali Sahabi, President of Optimum Group, Inc.; and Tom Robinson, Optimum Seismic, Inc.