United Way golfers soak up the fun during annual tournament

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A short rain delay and over an hour of rainfall hardly put a damper on the enthusiastic participants in the Swift Current United Way fundraising golf tournament on, fittingly, Friday the 13th.

While the weather started off in a soggy fashion, the United Way Golf Classic on June 13 finished under grey, but dry skies, by the end of the tournament at the Elmwood Golf Tournament.

"To my knowledge, we had nobody drop out. Everyone stayed through. It's a testament to the community that when they commit to a tournament, on a weekday, on a work day, that they stay and be a part of the fun atmosphere that we created at the United Way Golf Tournament," pointed out United Way Golf Classic Chairman Scott Cassidy.

After a 30 minute delay to the start of the tournament, the field of 112 golfers had an exciting round which boasted a pair of big hole in one prizes as Knight Auto Group sponsored a Hole in One for a vehicle, and RBC sponsored a $10,000 Hole In One.

Golfers were also aiming to qualify for a one-swing opportunity for a Million Dollar Hole in One sponsored by Living Sky Casino. Held after the texas scramble tournament, a few shots had a promising start off the tee, with Mark Johnston coming closest to the once-in-a-lifetime shot.

"The rain quit for us there and that was nice. We had 16 people actually qualify by hitting the green, and then there was a random draw for those final nine," Cassidy said of the qualifying format. "It was a good, supportive, fun atmosphere. Everyone wanted to see someone win the $1 million, and they were excited to see every swing in hopes that it would go in. I think it's a really fun, value added thing for our tournament."

As the only Hole In One contest in Southern Saskatchewan, this added feature was among the reasons registration for the tournament grew from 88 golfers in 2013 to 112 players on 28 teams this year.

"You can't do anything about the weather. There was nothing you could do. But it's a testament to the golfers. It turned out great. We had lots of people that came up and told us how much of a good time they had despite the weather."

As a major fundraiser for the Swift Current and District United Way and their partner agencies: Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Paraplegic Association, Canadian Red Cross, CNIB, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Early Childhood Intervention Program, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Saskatchewan Association for Community Living, Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Southwest Homes, Southwest Crisis Services Inc., and St. John Ambulance.

"This is a major fundraiser for the United Way. It takes a lot of work and effort from the organizing committee, and again with the agencies support. Everything just turned out good. We fought through the weather and it was a positive."

While the tournament organizing committee did not have final fundraising numbers, they were aiming to break their $15,000 raised in 2013, and were expecting to be roughly $5,000 higher this year.

"That major financial contribution goes directly to the United Way, and then in turn back to those agencies. And we're very excited about that."

Organizations: Swift Current and District United Way

Geographic location: Swift Current, Elmwood Golf Course

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