Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the Hospital Foundation’s “Golf. Because You Care” fundraising golf tournament, and I have to say: THAT is how a fundraiser should be run.
I mean, I’m obviously a bit biased. I make no secret about being a big fan of hitting a little white ball with a funny looking stick, but it wasn’t the fact that I was getting to play a round of golf on a course consistently ranked in the top-5 on Vancouver Island (and has been on at least one “Best in Canada” list) that made the day so great.
It was everything else.
I didn’t eat breakfast before heading down to Storey Creek that morning.
But as I walked in the door, I was greeted not only by the smiling faces of the volunteers, but also a table of muffins, fruit, drinkable yogurt and coffee.
I fixed myself a coffee and grabbed a muffin, checked in with the organizers, who gave me my starting hole so I could put my clubs on the cart assigned to me and I headed to the range to take advantage of my free warm-up bucket(s).
When I got back to the clubhouse to meet up with the rest of my team and hit some putts before the round, I perused the tables of various gift cards, artwork, golf clubs and other products or services that had been generously donated to the cause by many local businesses.
These would be auctioned off later. I’d be back to look at them and write my name down beside a few to see if I could get a deal on something and support the Hospital Foundation a bit more, as well.
But right then, I had to get out to the second hole to be ready for the starting horn.
I rejoined my team and we headed for our hole. The horn went off a few minutes later and we were off.
Like I said, Storey Creek is a beautiful golf course.
But what was even more beautiful were the various sponsors set up at the tee box of almost every hole with little mini-games, prizes and giveaways, food and drink, smiles, laughter and enthusiasm for why they were there.
They were there to lend their support to the Hospital Foundation, who has raised over $200,000 for equipment for our regional hospital over the years just through this annual event.
Sponsors were offering everything from barbecued spicy salmon fillets and mimosas (courtesy Associated Tire and Marine Harvest) to Pizza (Papa Murphy’s) to ice cream treats (Dairy Queen) to draws for sunglasses which a member of our team was lucky enough to win, courtesy Iris Optometrists).
This is community engagement, and I love it.
Sure, I love it even more when it involves golf, but that wasn’t the important part.
The important part is that our locals sure do come together to support our own – and others.
We are a kind and generous community full of loving and thoughtful people who want to help each other.
How I felt when I left the course that day was echoed the next afternoon by retired DFO community advisor Barry Peters as he accepted the city’s 2015 Environmental Excellence award.
“It’s one of the things, I think, that Campbell River is known for,” Peters said. “When things have to be done, you can always just ask around and people show up.” They sure do, Barry. Well done, Campbell River. Keep it up.