It never ceases to amaze me the generosity of golfers. Did you know that golf raises more money for charity than all other sports combined? In January the PGA announced it had surpassed $2 billion in charitable giving – $1 billion of which was raised in just the past 8 years.
But giving back through golf isn’t reserved for famous athletes and the professional associations that run major tournaments. Many golfers give back without most of us ever hearing about it — golfers like Ginny Golding – the first female to join the PGA of BC.
The Best Golf Coach in BC according to Best of Vancouver Magazine in 2010, Ginny will be celebrating her 65th birthday by playing 65 holes of golf on June 23, 2014 at the University Golf Club UGC.
Through this marathon round of golf, “One Swing at a Time”, Ginny hopes to raise over $65,000 to help educate girls in Kenya and Tanzania through the Canadian Harambee Education Society (CHES).
“When Ginny first approached me with her idea of playing 65 holes on her 65th birthday and raising $65,000 for Harambee, it was automatic for me to give her the green light,” said Michael Mather, General Manager, University Golf Club. “This initiative is a perfect example of who Ginny is as a person and as a golf professional. Everyone associated with the University Golf Club is in full support of her plan. My job now, is to make certain that Mother Nature cooperates and gives her a nice, dry day on June 23rd!”
One Swing at a Time Details
When: June 23, 2014 starting at sunrise on the 8th hole
Where: University Golf Club, Vancouver, BC
Goal: To raise a minimum of $65,000 through $1,000-hole sponsorships
- Donations are being accepted through Canada Helps (Choose 1 Swing at a Time from the drop down list of fund options when submitting your donation.) Tax receipts are available on request.
- Sponsors can be corporations, individuals or groups of friends or family who want to share sponsorship for a hole. Sponsors will be recognized through signage on the holes they sponsor and on a sign near the 18th hole of the UGC clubhouse.
Six years ago, Ginny watched the CBC documentary, ‘Educating Margaret’ – a poignant story about a bright young girl in Kenya who was denied the right to a high school education because her family was too poor to pay for it. But through the generosity of one Canadian teacher, Lorrie Williams (founder of CHES) and Margaret’s love for learning, that young woman went on to graduate high school and secure a full scholarship to university to study nursing.
Margaret’s story inspired Ginny to volunteer countless hours with CHES and co-chair the Harambee Charity Golf Classic – an annual charity event that has raised over $147,000 for CHES.
Giving the Gift of Education to Young Girls Kakamega Region in Kenya
In many parts of Africa, school fees are more than the total annual income of many rural families. And for those who can scrape together enough money for a high school education, it is generally reserved for the sons.
“There’s an African saying that goes, ‘If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family’,” said Ginny. “I have seen first-hand how Harambee has changed the lives of thousands of women and I want to help grow those thousands into tens of thousands so we can change whole communities.”
2014 marks Ginny’s 30th year as a golf professional in the province – a milestone that would have many others looking back over their careers, wondering “What if…” — but not Ginny…
“I have been so fortunate in my life to be able to play golf and be supported by other women in my pursuit of a fulfilling career in this great sport,” shared Ginny. “Now, at 65 I want to give back to girls who do not have the privileges we have here in Canada. I invite all those who have shared my journey to this milestone to now join me in helping educate women so they can be catalysts for change in their communities.”
Ginny’s passion for the game and for giving back through golf is legendary in BC and I for one will be on the first hole with her when she tees it up for young girls in Africa who desperately need help.