The return of the Squamish health-care foundation fundraising golf tournament this month came with a three-part mission statement: To raise cash for much-needed local health equipment and services, to market the organizing foundation's new name and brand, and to honour a health-care icon by attaching his name to a fundraising event for the first time since his passing.
Missions — plural — accomplished, according to the organizers of last week's Dr. Kindree Memorial Golf Tournament.
Previously known as the Squamish Health Care Foundation Golf Tournament, the event that took a one-year hiatus in 2011 was back with a vengeance at Squamish Valley Golf Club (SVGC) on Sept. 17. All 144 spots in the tourney were sold out three weeks in advance and between entry fees, a silent auction and other activities, $26,000 was raised.
Tamsyn Jenkins, who along with Cindy Sellers co-organized the event, on Monday (Sept. 24) said the money raised at the tournament is to go into the recently renamed Squamish Hospital Foundation's (SHF) kitty for expanded orthopaedic surgery services at Squamish General Hospital (SGH).
“We used it as an opportunity to market the new name and to educate people about where the money goes,” Jenkins said.
In June, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) announced that partly in response to the retirement of orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Patrick McConkey, it was expanding both the number and range of orthopaedic surgeries that will be performed at SGH. A few weeks later, the three corridor health care foundations promised to raise $250,000 for the expanded service, with the SHF contributing 60 per cent of that.
Applications for a second orthopaedic surgeon for that program have just closed, and VCH officials hope to have a shortlist of candidates by the end of October, said Sellers, VCH's representative on the VCH board.
The purpose of the tournament was a serious one, as were some of the services offered. For example, a group of nurses wandered around SVGC taking tourney participants' blood pressure — just to raise awareness about the importance of that key health indicator. Even that message, though, was delivered in the spirit of fun, Jenkins said.
Health-care professionals from both the corridor and the Lower Mainland were well represented, as was the local business community, Jenkins said.
“It was a nice mix of people,” she said. “We had food-and-beverage sampling out along the course, and then we had an auction afterward as well.
“We had 144 players on the course. It wasn't a fast day out there, but everyone I spoke to seemed to enjoy themselves and not mind the fact that it moved somewhat slowly.”
Local businesses G-Van Catering, Two Birds Eatery and Gelato Carina were among those delivering goodies out on the course. That's not to mention the “tremendous” response from local businesses who donated items to the fundraising auction, she said.
“Coming back after the one-year break, and of course the economy has changed, we didn't know how it would be received, but we were sold out three weeks in advance, so we were pleased with the response,” Jenkins said.
For more information about the foundation, its mission and future fundraising efforts, visit www.squamishhospital.com