There is nothing better than golfing on a great course…on a great day…with great golfgals… for a great cause. Of course, any day on a golf course is a great day, but there is something very special about playing golf with women who give back to other women and children in need. And for the past two years I have been very lucky to play in an event that just keeps on giving – the 23rd Annual Shaughnessy Women’s Charity Golf Tournament.
My good friend Linda (far right), who I met about 5 years ago on the first tee of a local golf course, chaired this year’s tourney and invited me to join her team (Rohays – left, Lorraine – centre left).
After last year’s experience, I couldn’t wait to participate and thought about it for weeks before the event. I even took a lesson the day before to “tweak” my swing – WRONG! What a mistake that was! But that’s a whole other story…
The charity tournament was a two day event – the first evening being a cocktail party, silent auction and live auction. I was amazed at the many dozens of contributions made by club members, volunteers, local sponsors and organizations who generously donated their time, money, products and services to this event.
One such organization you probably already know about through my blog – Sweet Spot Golf. You may recall that Sweet Spot donates money to breast cancer research for every club they sell. It’s one of the reasons I use their clubs – their 4 hybrid is my favorite club in my bag -bar none. I can hit it a mile!
This year, when I told President Brian Allman who the recipients would be for this charity event, he shipped up a Sweet Spot pink putter for the silent auction from the states without a second thought. Gotta love good neighbours like that!
The auctions brought in a lot of money, with people often bidding higher than the value of the donation to help Kate Booth House – a crisis shelter for women and their children fleeing from domestic violence. I was shocked to learn that in Canada one in four women has experienced violence by the man in her life. In 2004 alone, more than 95,000 women and their children sought refuge at domestic violence shelters like Kate Booth House.
Since 2000, Kate Booth House and Esther’s Place (a second stage continuum of care), have protected over 5,000 families. They do amazing work, but are often over capacity from the need of so many. The Shaughnessy Women’s Charity Golf Tournament has been helping Kate Booth House for many years – providing funds for expansion, outreach programs, education, staff recruitment, summer programs for children and basic living needs for those who seek shelter at the house.
I’m not sure how much money Shaughnessy raised this year, but it must have been a lot. Here’s one example of the generousity of the bidders at the auction…Chef Peter Crook and Lisa Smith of Shaughnessy donated a dinner for 12 in the home of the successful bidder. That one item alone brought in well over $6,000!
Of course, I had to get in on the action – bidding and winning a week’s stay in a gorgeous 3 bedroom home in Palm Desert, donated by a very generous club member, Suzy Weeks – it was the perfect birthday gift to bring home to my husband.
The next day, I headed out early to practice at probably the best facility in Vancouver. I love Shaughnessy’s practice area. And their course ain’t no slouch either 😉 I can see why it’s been chosen for the Canadian Open so many times (it’s coming back in 2011). What a gorgeous place!
The weather was perfect – around 27 degrees C (~80 F) with a slight breeze. The course was in immaculate condition. Club members (women and men) were working at almost every tee, handing out goodies, tracking KP contests and the like, and even raking out bunkers after we played. I loved that part, considering I hit 13 bunker shots that day (did I mention it was a mistake to take a lesson before a tournament? :)).
Even the grounds keepers and gardeners put out a special surprise for us – a beautiful tree (the Shaughnessy symbol) sculpted right in the middle of the 11th fairway.
I can’t remember having so much fun. Lorraine, Royhas and Linda were wonderful teammates. Lorraine and I discovered we share the same golf coach and she, like me, took a lesson just before the tournament. Naturally we had to text our coach to share our good, bad and ugly shots all through the game – the ugly shots were his fault, of course ;).
At the 17th hole, we were all treated to massages as we looked out over the beautiful par 3 facing the ocean.
I felt so good after that neck rub, I didn’t even mind hitting what I thought was the perfect shot, only to discover it had rolled into the bunker behind the green. Took me 3 tries to get out – GRRRR – but then I rolled in a 30-40 foot putt, so life was good again. Golf is such a fickle game.
A fabulous luncheon ended the perfect day. Although we didn’t win the tournament, we didn’t care. The only winner we cared about was Kate Booth House. It felt so good to watch Major Marjory Peddle get up and share how the funds raised by this tournament would help so many. I must admit I got a bit chocked up hearing her speech.
I want to send out a very special thank you to my dear friend, Linda, for letting me share in such a wonderful event. And to Lorraine and Rohays for the laughs and good times we had from tee to green.
They say if you give, you receive tenfold. That certainly was true for me last week. I gave so little and received so much – not the least of which was meeting other women golfers who I’m proud to call my new friends.