Creating Hope Society (CHS) will host their first ever Annual Charity Golf Tournament on August 26 at the Ranch Golf and Country Club (52516 Range Road 262 Acheson Industrial Park) in Edmonton. Golfers from across the region and beyond will gather to play in what promises to be an exciting and meaningful day of competitive fun for everyone involved.
“The theme of our first tournament is Dads Matter Too,” explained event coordinator Perdita Baier-Law. “It refers directly to Creating Hope Society’s goal of reuniting our Aboriginal children back with their families, and working collaboratively to combat the social issues which plague our Edmonton-residing families. We believe that Dads Matter Too and if they were recognized as being parents, there would be far less children in the care of the Child Welfare System.”
The goal of the first CHS golf tournament is to raise $20,000; most of this amount is being generated through sponsorships while the $150 per person ($600 per team of four) entry fees are being utilized to pay expenses and prizes for tournament winners.
“We will be using the ‘Shot-Gun Start’ at this tournament,” explained Baier-Law. “This means we will have a team of golfers at every hole when tournament play gets underway. If we have more than 18 teams, a second foursome will tee-off once the first four are on the fairway and out of range.”
Competitors will vie for a variety of gift certificates and other prizes in events that include such things as the longest drive and the best putt. The tournament will incorporate the “best-ball system” on the course; once each team member had teed-off, the closest ball to the hold will mark the spot of the next series of shots.
“We want August 26 to be a special day, a successful day, but we need your help to realize this goal,” emphasized CHS Executive Director, Bernadette Iahtail. “Whether you enter a team, become a sponsor, attend the dinner or simply make a donation, you will make an important impact on the success of this venture.”
Early registration is encouraged; August 19 has been selected as the deadline date but last minute entries will be accepted if golfers show up for the 1 p.m. registration on tournament day. The action gets underway at 2:15 p.m.
“The tournament entry fee,” explained Baier-Law, “includes 18 holes of golf, a GPS Gold power cart, access to the driving range, a variety of prizes (that will be fully determined once the registration date has passed) and a scrumptious steak dinner. If you come out as a non-player or spectator you can also purchase a ticket to the dinner for just $35.”
The Ranch Golf and Country Club is sponsoring a prize of $2,500 to any golfer who makes a hole-in-one.
Bernadette Iahtail said the inaugural golf tournament is an ideal opportunity to come out, enjoy a day of golf, whether playing or watching, and support the organization.
A sponsorship commitment form is also on the website and donations are “very much appreciated,” assured Iahtail.
“The costs of maintaining and developing new programs and initiatives to ensure that we are meeting our goals, continue to escalate,” she explained, noting that fund-raising is something CHS has been doing since its inception. “Unfortunately, there is a barrier we need to cross before we can attain the extra funding we need each year. The fact is, there just isn’t a lot of support for programs that help men or boys; there are lots of initiatives to help women, girls and children – as there should be, and those programs are well-supported by the community at large. But we also need the community, the sponsors, the government and local and regional businesses and corporations to get involved with us.
“Men are family members too, and they are an important part of every family unit. Too many of our children are being cared for by strangers; they need their parents – both of them if possible, one of them if not. As a Society, we are trying to bridge that gap; we are bringing information to the forefront and we are just a phone call away. CHS welcomes any inquiries from any individual, organization, business or corporation wanting to know how they can help make a difference.”
The Creating Hope Society was born as a result of the Sixties Scoop, a term that refers to a phenomenon in Canada, (beginning in the 1960s and carrying on until the 1970s), of unusually high numbers of Aboriginal children apprehended from their families and fostered or adopted out, usually into non-Aboriginal families. These children have since articulated their sense of loss: loss of their cultural identity, lost contact with their birth families, barred access from medical histories and for status Indian children, loss of their status.
The CHS mandate includes engaging in a process of reconciliation that will allow Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal caregivers to arrive at a new place of understanding, that will end forever the historically devastating impacts of child welfare.
To help achieve its goals CHS activities include gathering written and multimedia resources addressing Aboriginal child welfare and relevant health and wellness issues, providing consulting services regarding health and wellness and organizing and hosting gatherings and other similar type sessions relating to Aboriginal child welfare, particularly as they apply to the 1960s and 1970s.
For more information about the golf tournament or to learn more about CHS visit creatinghopesociety.ca or call 780 – 477 -7961. The Creating Hope Society is located at 9538 -107 Avenue in Edmonton.
by John Copley