30 Years Later and We Are (Still) The World

Vikki OttIf you know her now, you’d know that this child of the 1980’s was clear­ly influ­enced by the Los Ange­les Dodgers, 80’s music videos, and ben­e­fit con­certs. Among her 80’s accom­plish­ments includ­ed learn­ing the Thriller zom­bie dance, win­ning lip sync com­pe­ti­tions at junior high dances, and coin­ing the term “Fer­nan­do­ma­nia.” Ulti­mate­ly, cre­ative dif­fer­ences with Tom­my Lasor­da prompt­ed this for­mer Dodger to leave pro­fes­sion­al sports and start a career in mar­ket­ing, and we’re glad she did.

Now serv­ing as the SMPS San Diego Media Chair, Vik­ki Ott, CPSM, cred­its her love of Duran Duran with intro­duc­ing her to the world of boy bands, music videos, and spend­ing all of one’s allowance on teen mag­a­zines and life-size posters of John Tay­lor. But more impor­tant­ly, Duran Duran’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 1984 sin­gle “Do They Know It’s Christ­mas” and role in the 1985 Live Aid con­cert intro­duced young Vik­ki to the glob­al efforts to help alle­vi­ate pover­ty and famine in Ethiopia. In 1986 she took part in the nation­al hand-hold­ing char­i­ta­ble event, Hands Across Amer­i­ca, which sad­ly did not include her hold­ing hands with any mem­ber of Duran Duran. But it did include a 7-mil­lion-per­son, 4,152-mile sing-a-long of “We Are The World,” a char­i­ty sin­gle writ­ten to ben­e­fit famine relief efforts in Africa.

These events changed Vikki’s life. And now she’s help­ing change the lives of com­mu­ni­ties in Africa by vol­un­teer­ing her time and resources for char­i­ties like The Com­mu­ni­ty Project: Ethiopia (TCP), the cur­rent SMPS San Diego char­i­ta­ble part­ner and the ben­e­fi­cia­ry of this year’s Golf Tour­na­ment pro­ceeds.Vikki in Ethiopia pic 1 Vik­ki authored this blog post about her involve­ment with this group and the ori­gins of the project. Since then she has helped TCP con­nect to a num­ber of fund­ing and project part­ners, includ­ing SMPS San Diego and Engi­neers With­out Bor­ders (EWB). EWB is lead­ing the efforts to build a K-8 school, com­mu­ni­ty cen­ter and com­mu­ni­ty gar­den in the vil­lage of Debre Birhan, Ethiopia, and SMPS San Diego is hon­ored to be spon­sor­ing this com­mu­ni­ty project.

When you find Vik­ki at this char­i­ty event ben­e­fit­ting relief efforts in Africa, you should ask her about The Com­mu­ni­ty Project, ini­ti­ate a Duran Duran sing-along, or chal­lenge her knowl­edge of 80’s songs and triv­ia.

If you are read­ing this blog entry and reg­is­ter for golf online, shoot Jef­frey Rank an email (jrank@rjagroup.com) not­ing that you read this entry for an extra mul­li­gan per golfer reg­is­tered and 5 extra raf­fle tick­ets (per golfer). This spe­cial offer lasts until April 4th, 2014.

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