Youth in central Alberta and across Canada stand to benefit from a local fundraising event that brings together athletic and musical celebrities for a great cause.
The 11th annual Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic began at the Sheraton Red Deer Wednesday night and continues Thursday at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club.
The event is hosted by the Gord Bamford Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides funds for initiatives that include or involve music, education, health care, sports and multi-use facilities that benefit youth.
To date, over $3.2 million has been raised from the annual event, with this year’s recipients to include MusiCounts – a Band Aid program that will receive $100,000 over the next five years to help ensure Canadian schools have musical instruments and continued support of their music and arts programs.
Other beneficiaries include Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe and District, Blackfalds Wranglers, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, Central Alberta Buccaneers Football Club, Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, Central Alberta Ringette Lacombe, Creative Kids Saskatchewan, Hockey Alberta Foundation – Every Kid Every Community, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre, RDC – Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre and The Sutter Fund.
Gord Bamford says Wednesday night’s gala at the Sheraton was their biggest one yet.
“We had about 850 people at the gala and I think everybody enjoyed their time there,” he exclaims. “We had some great performances and it’s just our biggest year yet so it’s great. It’s been a tremendous journey to watch it grow and all the people that are involved, it’s such a great committee and great people, it’s been surreal to be a part of it.”
Bamford says the event is something he cherishes and is grateful for all the support it receives.
“I hope to continue it for many years,” says Bamford. “You know, it’s the people in that room that open up their wallets and donate their money for the cause that we have and all the NHL alumni guys that come out and the country music singers and celebrities and Olympians that come out and support, I want to thank you guys very much.”
Retired Olympian and celebrity golfer Mellisa Hollingsworth says it’s always great to be a part of any charity fundraising in central Alberta.
“Gord especially, this is his 11th year having the gala and the golf tournament and so much good has been done,” she explains. “I can’t believe the amount of money that was in that room last night of people just being so generous and the programs where it’s going to be spread out through all of our arts and sports and different places where it’s needed in central Alberta.”
Fellow celebrity golfer and country music star Dallas Smith says it’s his fifth or sixth time back at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic.
“I’ve got my own golf tournament with Chad Brownlee out in Langley and we’ve always looked up to Gord and what he’s done here with his committee,” says Smith. “I haven’t played in a golf tournament this good in all of Canada so of course done a great job. So I’m excited to be here, it’s always a great time with great people.”
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