I returned to snowy Canada a few weeks ago and I am loving the cold, but am also looking forward to the grass greening-up for golf to be played.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Edwin in Bolivia. He was beside himself with excitement and told me about his meeting with the Federación Boliviana De Golf. They had advised that the Bolivian Fairways cadets had been invited to attend every tournament for the year, with free entry! It was wonderful news and Edwin and I discussed who was playing and the care packages I shipped from Canada.
I had sent a box that was stuffed with used range balls from PEI’s Finest Golf , donated shoes, hats, wet weather gear, some new golf balls and lots of tees. Tees are a precious commodity in Bolivia.
I had also gathered all my old work shirts (from waitressing at the golf resort) and my golf shirts and popped them in a box. When they arrived, the cadets' families embroidered them with the Fairways branding so the kids could wear them during their first ever tournament. How cool is that?
The clubs donated by Glencoe Golf and Country Club had finally arrived too. It took almost a year with all the delays so common in the Bolivian logistics system. However, the children were delighted with their new clubs. Edwin was questioned by parents, golfers and local media and is now sharing his passion with 35 students, some of whom are Fairways Cadets. I can’t believe all that has happened in 12 months and am very happy to see Edwin improve the lives of these children.
In India, I had word that our Kolkata cadets, Anil and Subhash, came 1st and 2nd in their latest tournament. I am proud to be part of their golf journey and am very happy for them.
And now that I was back to Canada, I caught up with a bunch of Fairway's biggest supporters. Damian from Celtic Air Services in Cape Breton, Sean Joyce, who is the new President of the PEI Golf Association, Ryan Garrett, General Manager of PEI’s Finest Golf, and Dave Bowlan the Golf Professional from Avondale Golf Club who mentors and coaches the PEI Fairways’ juniors.
I actually attended their last winter lesson at All About Golf, an indoor golf simulator with a real chipping and putting green. I watched the kids putt and chip. Or "chip in," I should say, as I witnessed many amazing shots from multiple children. No need for the flat stick!
I chatted with Tara and Kate’s mother, Gloria, about an opportunity for the girls to play in the PEI Junior Tournament. It is fantastic, but we need to raise some money to help them pay for their entry fees.
Our next fundraiser is the Dawn2Dusk Golf Challenge, in which participants play as many holes as they can in one day to raise awareness and funds for Fairways' cadets and programs.
On the summer solstice in 2016, I played 83 holes. In 2017 I played 111 and that was with a thunderstorm delay, so this year on the 21st June, Dave and I will try and play 120 holes of golf in one day!
We will have separate carts which can be considered cheating by some, particularly Paddy Dean, the General Manager of Malone Golf Club in Belfast Ireland, who walked and carried 100 holes last year raising money for Fairways.
This year Tara and Kate are going to join us as is their brother John and golf friend and fellow Fairways junior, Evan. Their mother, Gloria, is going to drive between the carts and update our social media while dad, Donnie, is going to be on hand to cook the barbeque. The girls are going to fundraise to pursue their love of golf and further develop their game with the hopes of getting good enough that they can play their way into a golf scholarship.
To sponsor me on my Dawn2Dusk golf marathon, please visit my fundraising page.
If you want to join us on the Dawn2Dusk and raise funds and awareness for Fairways while testing yourself please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.