CANMORE – A day on the greens to bring in the green for YWCA Banff.
About 100 golfers are ready to tee off at the Jamie Perkins Memorial Golf Tournament, Sunday (July 25) at Stewart Creek golf course in Canmore.
With a 10 a.m. shotgun start, the local fundraiser in its sixth year, still aims to sink a hole-in-one for YWCA Banff’s Higher Ground Project, which would bring a new purpose-built women’s emergency shelter to Canmore with a range of services.
“We picked the Higher Ground foundation of YWCA Banff to build a women’s shelter in Canmore and every year that’s been what we’ve been working towards,” said Terry O’Neill, organizer of the golf tournament.
“All of us are fathers of daughters, so the Y struck a cord for us and we feel it’s a very worthwhile endeavour, plus, it’s local. It was important to us that it was local.”
The tournament includes an online auction and Saturday night banquet at Stewart Creek. Spots are still available in Sunday's golf tournament.
Formerly 100 Holes of Help, the tournament’s name changed in 2019 to the Jamie Perkins Memorial Golf Tournament after one of the initiative’s original foursome, who was a beloved community member.
Along with Perkins and O'Neill, Richard McGivern and Rob Wagemakers also started the initiative.
Since 2015, the tournaments have brought in $183,000 toward YWCA Banff's Higher Ground Project. Last year, a modified version of the golf tournament due to COVID-19 poured in around $33,000 – one of its best years.
“We haven’t set a hard goal [for fundraising],” said O’Neill. “It’s as much as we can.”
When the pandemic struck, the YWCA Banff's momentum on the Higher Ground Project slowed as the organization refocused its work to core services and programs.
However, for the past six months, the Y has worked to get back on track with the project.
Ebony Rempel, CEO of YWCA Banff, said "it's still a few years away," but conversations have began opening back up about the facility.
“It’s hopefully going to be a hub-type model that’s purpose-built that really supports those who’ve experienced violence with a range of services that they need,” said“We’ve had lots of conversations with the Town of Canmore and, of course, the Rotary Club of Canmore who have also been donating to this work and supporting it … the next major milestone is trying to find land and a good space that we’ll be able to grow and build from and that’s the tricky piece right.”
For more information about the Higher Ground Project, visit the www.ywcabanff.ca.