Golf tournament to eclipse $1 million mark for South Okanagan charities

The Penticton Golf and Country Club will surpass $1 million in funds raised at their Penticton and Friends Charity Golf Classic.

The Penticton Golf and Country Club will surpass $1 million in funds raised at their Penticton and Friends Charity Golf Classic.

“This is an amazing accomplishment and it is great the community has supported it for this long to raise that much money,” said Guy Dow, head professional at the Penticton Golf and Country Club. “Lots of fundraising events don’t last long and we are still going strong at 27 years. It is a huge feather in the cap for all the participants.”

For the past 27 years the club has hosted the tournament during the first weekend in July, lending their support to charities in the South Okanagan. The event began in 1987 with NHL star Andy Moog and friends. Dow said it has been instrumental in the community for raising funds for the Moog and Friends Hospice, supporting local athletes and families through the B.C. Special Olympics, Penticton and District Society for Community Living, OSNS, Agur Lake, Good Samaritan Village by the Station, M.S. Society, Salvation Army Food Bank and the Alzheimer Society.

The event kicks off on Friday with a practice round for the 125 participants and a full day of golf on Saturday, starting with an opening ceremony at 11 a.m. at the golf club.

Long-time broadcaster John McKeachie will be MC’ing the event, as he has since the tournament started, and NHL referee and Penticton native Steve Kozari will be participating. Dow said there are a number of great live and silent auction items on the block.

Dow said participant numbers are up as well as sponsorships, and it is a testament to the community in tough economic times. This year’s event will be supported by new major sponsors Okanagan Hockey School and Sentry Investments joining Boston Pizza, Coca Cola, Labatt, Constellation Brands, Adidas and a host of local companies.

“We wouldn’t be able to run this without the support we receive from sponsors and the 50 or so volunteers that donate their time. Everyone, including the golf club members, get right behind this event because when you are able to distribute funds to our local charities it is just so gratifying,” said Dow.