The Golf Marathon for Hope took place at Monte Vista this Monday in support of NEO Kids Foundation, the hub for specialized children’s care in Northeastern Ontario. Despite the rain, golfers played as many as 72 holes after teeing off at dawn and playing until dusk. Although the weather may have slowed the pace of the game, it did not dampen the spirits of the 15 golfers who made Monte Vista their playground for the day all in the name of benefiting the community.
What started as a small idea between a few friends, has snowballed into an annual event raising thousands of dollars to support Neo Kids and The Northern Cancer Foundation. Since 2013, Golf Marathon for Hope has been raising money with the goal of improving children’s health. This year’s event pushed them over the $100,000 mark, as in five years they have raised a total of $110,000, with all of the money going back into the community. The funds are raised through individual donations with people sponsoring golfers on a per hole basis, as well as through corporate sponsorships. Every golfer commits to raising a minimum of $1,000 and to golfing 50 holes. When the weather cooperates, some golfers have been able to almost double their goal as last year golfers were able to play as many as 90 holes. Subsequently, over 3,000 holes of golf have been played collectively since 2013 – no small number and no shortage of heart from the group of golfers dedicated to making a positive impact.
Last year, the money raised was used to purchase a Bili light – a special light that is used to help treat babies born with jaundice. The newborns are placed underneath this light as phototherapy is used to break down bilirubin within the babies’ bodies in a way that allows the body to get rid of it. The advanced light is expensive, costing around $25,000 for one light, but through the support from Golf Marathon for Hope the addition was made possible. It’s initiatives like this one that help families of children who are sick receive treatment in Sudbury, instead of having to travel to Toronto or Ottawa.
The money from this year’s event will continue to stay in Northern Ontario and will be used towards purchasing life-saving equipment for Neo Kids’ youngest patients. With 35,000 kids visiting NEO Kids last year, and that number expected to increase, the need for equipment that helps keep children in Northern Ontario continues to be important.
For the past two years, this fantastic event has been held at Monte Vista. For us, it is exciting and inspiring to be able to host events like the Golf Marathon for Hope. Congratulations to Golf Marathon for Hope on this year’s event and here at GolfSudbury we are proud to be part of the endeavour!