First place golfers with Bruce MacDonald, second from right, with an incredible score of 53: from left to right are Justin Sketsch, Chris Owen, Kyle Luchinski, Matt Mesic and Mike Savard. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Rain doesn’t dampen 26th Charity Golf Classic in Alberni Valley

BC Children’s Hospital, KidSport, Abbeyfield, Bread of Life and Navy League to benefit

SONJA DRINKWATER

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

The 26th Annual Port Alberni Charity Golf Classic got off to a soggy start on Saturday, but it didn’t dampen any spirits.

There were 157 participants in this year’s event, creating 32 teams. Charities that benefit from this year’s tournament are the BC Children’s Hospital, KidSport, Abbeyfield, Bread of Life and Navy League.

The two-day event started on Friday, July 5 with a wine and cheese and meet and greet.

The tee-off on Saturday was at 11:30 a.m., just as the rain started. Participants didn’t let a little rain damper their enthusiasm. Golfers played best ball for 18 holes of golf, and most were finished around 5:30 pm. Waiting for them was a roast beef dinner prepared by the staff at the Alberni Golf Course.

Throughout the day, there were treats donated by local businesses and contests that included putting and chipping.

The MC for the evening was Joey Kenward, voice of the Canucks. He has been a part of the Classic since 2008.

“The first time that I came here, I was working for the Vancouver Giants and brought the Memorial Cup here,” he said. “I remember most people drinking beer from the cup. The good times keep rolling. This year is the best collections of live auction items that I have ever seen. Dave Turner of Port Boat House is so generous, every year. This year he outdid himself.”

Rob Shick, the originator of this tournament, also attended.

“This is a testament to the character of people of Port Alberni who have been coming out for the past 26 years to raise money for Children’s Hospital and local charities,” he said.

“There is a lot of hard work behind the scenes. This event continues to evolve. We now have the daughters and sons of the first participants entering. The late Jack Gauthier was my mentor and played in this tournament, and now his son Ron participates.”

The first place winners, with a score of 53, were Justin Sketsch, Chris Owen, Kyle Luchinski, Matt Mesic and Mike Savard. Each participant received a gift certificate to the pro shop.

The putting contest winner was Lee Anne Van Lent, and Pat Affleck won the chipping contest. Men’s KP No. 2 was won by Rob Shick, while Tanya Berry won the Ladies KP No. 4. The Men’s Long Drive No. 5 went to Cameron Johnston, while Kaitlyn Schievink won Ladies Long Drive on No. 12. Reece Bourne and Terry Bell won the Wiffle Water Challenge between No. 14 and No. 17. The RBC KP No. 17 was won by Evan Hammond, who donated it back. The Beat the Pro No. 17 was won by Wil Pulford, Evan Hammond, Mike Cole, Laurie Wood and Brett Brenneman. They donated the $250 back to the Classic.

The $1,200 Save on Foods grocery raffle was won by Ingrid Danneberg.

A number of generous sponsors provided items for the live and silent auctions. The Classic raised more than $35,000 at the close of the live auction, but this did not include the silent or other money-makers during the two-day event.

Music was provided by Cruze Control.

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Dave Turner of Port Boat House, front right, was the platinum sponsor of this event. Clockwise from him are: Al Emo, Brad Johnson, Chris Turner and Scott Emo. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Joey Kenward always wears a pair of striking golf pants when he comes to the Charity Golf Classic. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Joey Kenward, Canucks reporter, emceed and also ran the live auction. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Tom Hall, left, won $250 in the balloon pop game and is congratulated by Dave Cusson, who has been running this game for the past 15 years. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

This Wave Runner, donated by Port Boat House (and modeled by Karina Dybdal and Maiya Turner, 12), went for $9,000 in the live auction. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

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