I told Damian MacInnis the Fairways story while I was his waitress at Brudenell this summer. It turned out he was a co-founder of Celtic Keys, a golf holiday rental property management firm, and he invited me to visit to Cape Breton to discuss all things junior golf.
I packed up my house for the summer and started my bus trip from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia. Three buses and 6 hours later I was met in Cape Breton by Jade, one of Damian’s employees at Celtic Air Services (CAS). Damian was returning from holidays the next day. Jade took me to Port Hawkesbury Airport, which is managed by CAS, as I was staying in a studio attached to the airport.
In the morning I went to meet Eric Tobin at Bell Bay Golf Club. We discussed junior golf in the area and what Fairways is doing all over the world. We talked about Awesome 4somes and other ways we can raise money to support underprivileged junior golfers. As it turns out Eric’s twin brother manages a golf course in Ontario and he is going to tell him about Fairways and ask if he would like to donate a tee time to Awesome 4somes. Fantastic!
I then visited Ryan Higgins at Dundee Golf Club and we chatted about needy juniors in his area. The golf club is part of Dundee Resort and overlooks the waters of the Bra D'Or Lakes. It is beautiful there and I'd love to come back to stay someday. Ryan donated a tee time to our Awesome 4some auctions too. Very cool!
The following morning, Damian and I caught up for breakfast, then headed to Cabot Links for a meeting with general manager, Andrew Alckenbrack. What an amazing location for a golf course! The meeting with Andrew went very well. He donated a tee time at Cabot Cliffs and is open to other fundraising concepts. Check out the Cabot Cliffs listing HERE!
Next we drove to Le Portage GC and had a great meeting with Patrick Laderoute, the club's general manager AND head pro. He must be busy! I believe by next summer we will have Fairways juniors in Nova Scotia and Patrick is supporting us with an Awesome 4somes tee time too.
Unfortunately, Graham Hudson from Highland Links, which is a very cool course stretching between the coast and the mountains, was unable to be back in Cape Breton in time for our meeting so we had a conference call instead. Once again nothing but support for Fairways.
I love how clubs are getting behind what we're doing!
Another great result to come from my Cape Breton visit was that Damian told me Celtic Keys and Celtic Air Services (which will end up part of the Celtic Group) want to partner with us. Not only will they be brand ambassadors, but they will also support our work in conjunction with theirs. Truly sensational!
The natural rugged beauty of Cape Breton reminds me of Scotland and I can see why Damian is determined to encourage locals to stay and help the place thrive. The cherry on top of my visit was when the two of us played a round at Cabot Cliffs. There is nothing like having a work meeting and the links as your office!
So now I have multiple fundraising proposals to write to all the courses I visited, to help us support junior golf, both locally in Nova Scotia and globally!