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The Palliative Care Program at Brockville General Hospital reduces suffering, improves quality of life, and helps patients and their loved ones through a challenging time. But keeping this essential service up and running requires a significant financial investment. The Foundation contributes $640,000 annually to this program. Over the past 26 years, the Friends of Palliative Care golf tournament has been driving home the program’s importance, and has become a huge success in the process.
Going on its twenty seventh year, the tournament has raised more than $3.7 million. Friends of Palliative Care Golf Day typically attracts between 250 and 260 golfers, but organizers have capped participation at 220 this year due to COVID and social distancing. It will also run for two days.
“I was first approached by the hospital’s head administrator more than 27 years ago,” says Michael McMahon, Partner, MNP. “He asked me to be part of an organizing committee to raise funds for the palliative care program.”
“I thought it was a great cause. At the time, a golf tournament was a unique approach to raising funds in the local community and I wanted to see it become successful.”
Michael adds that, in all these years, the tournament has only been rained out once. He wonders if that should partly be attributed to the involvement of the Sisters of Providence. “Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe it’s divine intervention,” Michael says with a smile. “The Sisters of Providence sponsored the tournament for many years and the Sisters still participate to this day as golfers, which is so wonderful to see.”
The first year there were five sponsors — and it required a lot of work to get the initiative off the ground. Michael remembers having to enlist family, friends and neighbours to help. This year there are, fittingly, 18 sponsors across Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. And as the tournament has grown, so has volunteer involvement. There’s no shortage of helping hands today.
“It’s heart warming to see volunteers come out time and again,” says Michael.
“Some of the people who volunteered in the early years later experienced going through the Palliative Care Program themselves. Now their children and grandchildren are involved as volunteers because the cause means so much to them personally.”
The tournament is a must-do on many people’s social calendars—an opportunity to get together in the sunshine, have some fun, and enjoy the thrill of competition. The entry fee is also reasonable, so many people make additional donations.
Michael has helped organize the Friends of Palliative Care Golf Day for most of the years it’s been running. Recognizing both the importance of supporting the Brockville community and how critical the Palliative Care Program is to the community, MNP (and its predecessor firm) has been a sponsor of the fundraiser since its inception and a Platinum level sponsor for the last four years.
“By supporting this event you are making certain this service continues to provide the best quality of life for the critically or terminally ill,” says Michael. “You’re ensuring their comfort and dignity during their final days — adding life to days, when days cannot be added to life,” says Michael.
Great care has been taken to keep everyone safe this year. Tee times have been staggered to help people social distance while still giving them an enjoyable experience. Participants will receive a welcome gift and snacks upon arrival, as well as lunch, snacks, and beverages on the course.
There are on-course prizes up for grabs and all golfers can participate in sealed envelope and online auctions.
“I’m proud that the firm I work for values supporting our community and this tournament,” says Michael. “I hope Brockville and area residents will continue to bolster the Palliative Care Program for years to come.”
When: September 1-2, 2020Where: Brockville Country Club
Donations can be made to:Brockville and District Hospital Foundation75 Charles StreetBrockville ON K6V 1S8P: 613.345.4478E:
Please make cheques payable to:BDHF - PALLIATIVE CARE SERVICES
Related Topics:Sponsorships; In The Community
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