100 Holes for Help lends a hand to YWCA shelter
Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 03:53 pm
Sometimes great things come out of a round of golf.
That’s exactly what happened one day in May, when four Stewart Creek Golf Club members were having a well-deserved beverage after 18 holes on the course.
Jamie Perkins, Terry O’Neill, Richard McGivern and Rob Wagemakers were at the table discussing the upcoming summer solstice on June 21 – the longest day of the year.
Wagemakers recalled a golf tournament held in Anchorage, Alaska on the solstice that challenged golfers to play as many holes as they could over a 24-hour period and said to the others they should see how many holes they could play in 18 hours here in Canmore at Stewart Creek to raise money for a local charity.
“It matured into a great idea,” he said. “We decided $10,000 would be the target and we have blown by that a bit.”
The foursome challenged others to donate to the event, dubbed 100 Holes for Help, and have raised $25,000 for the Banff YWCA women’s shelter.
Perkins and O’Neill attended the YWCA VineArt gala earlier in the year, a fundraiser to launch work to develop a dedicated women’s shelter for the Bow Valley, and the decision was made for the money to go toward that initiative.
Connie MacDonald, Banff YWCA CEO, said she was thrilled to hear about the event and blown away by the fact they raised $25,000 for a project that has not even launched its capital campaign.
“We are in the beginning stages of the shelter and we have not yet launched the capital campaign,” MacDonald said. “We set a five-year goal to build a shelter and the mayor of Canmore said we can build it quicker than that, but we are trying to be realistic.”
The event earlier this year at Silvertip – VineArt – officially launched the work to research what type of shelter would be appropriate for the valley and the programming to run it.
“It is overwhelming actually, because the interest and support from so many has been so impressive,” she said.
It is also a big vote of confidence in the project before it reaches it capital campaign stage.
The golfers were unsure how well the day would go, and how long it would take to reach 100 holes of golf.
“We didn’t know how fast it would go and if we would make 100 holes,” Perkins said.
They started at 5 a.m. while it was still dark outside and hit the 100-hole mark by 4 p.m. and continued on, although not everyone kept playing to the end. By 10:30 p.m. they had played 144 holes.
“We got to play through everyone on the course, otherwise we would not be able to get it done,” Perkins said.
Stewart Creek general manager Greg Andrew was immediately behind the endeavour created by the four members and staff made sure the day was a success. They provided support with food and beverages, switched out electric golf carts every two rounds and went ahead on the course to let other players know they were coming and what they were playing for.
“People playing ahead would move to the side and let them play through,” Andrew said. “This is the type of thing the club always wants to get behind. I think at the end of the day one of the things that golf courses do in Canmore and Banff is help raise money for good causes (through tournaments).
“When the opportunity comes to give back, that is when it matters.”
Perkins said they want the event to continue next year, continuing to raise funds for the shelter. They also want to expand 100 Holes for Help and challenge other golf courses in the valley to put together a foursome and play on the solstice.
Andrew doesn’t think it will take much to get other courses on board for next year.
With a full 12 months to organize it instead of just four weeks, the opportunity to support the YWCA women’s shelter is expected to expand.