RBC Canadian Open volunteers give big gift to Hamilton area schools
2012 RBC Canadian Open volunteers raise over $10,000 for Golf in Schools program, adopt 19 Hamilton area schools.
Morgan Bell/ Golf Canada
Published on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 10:36AM EST Last updated on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 10:39AM EST
The 2012 edition of Canada’s National Open Championship might be over, but its positive impact will continue to be felt throughout schools in the Hamilton area.
As a group, the 1,600 volunteers who were on-site during the RBC Canadian Open raised over $10,000 to donate to the Golf in Schools program.
Thanks to the outstanding fundraising efforts of the volunteers, 19 Hamilton area schools have been adopted in the name of Hamilton Golf and Country Club and the 2012 RBC Canadian Open. Each school will be receiving the Golf in Schools kit that physical education programs can use to introduce many new prospective young golfers to the game in a safe and fun manner.
“We had set a goal prior to the Open to raise at least $10,000,” said Al Scott, the 2012 RBC Canadian Open Volunteer Services Chair. “We were fortunate enough with great sponsorship and the active participation of the volunteers to meet that goal.”
The Volunteer Services Committee raised funds through a raffle and silent auction open exclusively to RBC Canadian Open volunteers. Throughout the week, they were encouraged to buy tickets and use them to bid on various prizes that ranged from limited framed prints to Blue Jays tickets, golf equipment, and even a getaway ski vacation.
Sponsorships and donations for the raffle came from across the community but Scott pointed out that the fundraising project would not have been successful without the generosity of the members at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
“The club membership’s response to our request for sponsorship was amazing. From cash and product donations to pro shop credits which could be translated into raffle prizes, our members really embraced the project,” he said. “There’s no question that as a host course, Hamilton Golf and Country Club and its members endorsed the idea of giving back to the local community by encouraging the growth of the game through the expansion of the Golf in Schools program in our local schools.”
The pro-active fundraising efforts of the volunteers as well as the club and its members have contributed to the shared vision of RBC, Golf Canada and the RBC Canadian Open to make a long-lasting impact in the community. That impact is something that educators across the city like Monica Moran, a Physical Education Teacher at the Helen Detwiler School are excited about.
“The opportunity is incredible and we’re so thankful for it. It’s so great that our kids will have the opportunity to learn about golf,” said Moran. “With the modified equipment and child -friendly approach, this program really allows students to be successful and experience golf the way a kid should and could.”
What’s interesting though, is that the program isn’t just going to any school.
Given the large number of schools in the area that could receive the program, a committee of local educators, host club members and Golf Canada staff was created to ensure that the schools selected would meet certain criteria designed to ensure that the program would be implemented successfully and go to schools which might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of the program.
“We also talked about things like making sure the equipment went to schools where there were staff members committed to implement the program,” said Scott. “As well, we looked for schools where there might be the potential for local partnership to extend and enrich the program in the future.”
The 2012 RBC Canadian Open not only assisted the Golf in Schools program, it also benefitted numerous other charities nationally and locally.
The charitable impact of Canada’s National Open Championship reached $1.1 million in 2012. The event’s National Charity Partner, The Mike Weir Foundation, received more than $400,000 in support of advancing the physical, emotional and educational welfare of children in Canada.
Locally, the Community Child Abuse Council raised $325,000 through their onsite water bottle campaign and the purple ribbon awareness initiative. In addition, local service clubs supporting the event were provided with $104,000 and funds were directed back towards junior golf activities. A number of other charities were supported through ticket donations contributing to the final total.
Throughout its history, Canada’s National Open Championship has helped to generate more than $45 million in charitable giving. With the RBC Canadian Open’s ongoing commitment to philanthropy, the impact of each year’s National Championship will be felt in host-site communities for years to come.
“Together with our partners at RBC, we are tremendously proud of the charitable impact the RBC Canadian Open continues to have in our host communities,” said Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons. “It was especially encouraging to see the volunteers and the membership at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club take such an active role in helping to grow the Golf in Schools program within the local community. Their efforts will help leave a lasting legacy and introduce the sport of golf to thousands of young students.”
To find out more about Golf in Schools or learn how you can adopt a school in your area, visit www.nationalgolfinschools.com.