The huge effort from the Celebrity Golf Tournament & Hockey Game committee paid off Thursday when they delivered a $120,000 cheque to the Bulkley Valley Health Care & Hospital Foundation for a revamped maternity ward in Smithers.
“It’s nice to deliver the cheque and see some of the eyes widen when you give them the amount, and to see the money actually go to use and hopefully see the construction start pretty soon – that’s what it’s all about,” said tournament co-chair Kent Delwisch.
“That’s what we put all out time and effort for.”
It takes about nine months for volunteers to organize the event said Delwisch. Volunteers are taking next year off to build up the energy needed to put on the next tournament in 2017.
“You can’t say enough about the individuals,” said foundation chair Ted Bobb.
The business community and foundation also brought in volunteers to help with the events of Aug. 13-15, including the live auction that brought in much of the funds.
Hometown hockey star Dan Hamhuis was on hand for the cheque presentation. He said he had been taking part in the event since he was a kid as it evolved through the years.
“I was a 10-year-old kid, I was participating in this as a caddy … I kind of became a bit of a celebrity when I was playing junior hockey in Prince George. The tournament then kind of transitioned into a smaller kind of community fundraiser that the Rotary group put on,” said Hamhuis.
“Now it’s transitioned to a big event in Smithers with out-of-town celebrities coming up. This is as good as it ever has been these last few years.”
Hamhuis explained why it was so important to take part in the fundraiser.
“It’s unfortunate when families have health scares. To be able to provide the equipment and services that northerners need, that people from Smithers need to be able to stay local is huge. Instead of travelling to Prince George or Vancouver for those services, if we could provide more here it’s going to make things easier for everybody,” said Hamhuis.
The money raised is going towards a new four-suite maternity ward at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital estimated to cost $270,000.