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Anticipation grows for return of Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament

Among the celebrities are hometown favourites Joe Watson, Dan Hamhuis and Rachel Brown
Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament B-flight winner Dana Ferguson, right, picks a number to see who will get to choose prizes first among herself, C-flight winner John Morris, centre, and A-flight winner Danielle Marie, left. (Thom Barker photo.)

The Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament is still weeks away, but it is shaping up to be a big deal.

Organizer Kent Delwisch said pent-up demand after the bi-annual fundraiser was cancelled in 2021 had sponsors lining up to get involved.

“Our sponsorships, the golf teams, sold out in a week in March so that was kind of an indicator that people were interested in getting back, there was a demand that way, for sure,” he said.

“It’s nice to be getting back a little bit of normal after the whole COVID thing, and that’s kind of the response we’ve been getting from the sponsors as well as the celebrities.”

The tournament is a one-day scramble. Each sponsor team of four members is paired with a celebrity by way of an auction prior to the start of play.

In 2019, the auction raised $60,000 with former Miss USA contestant (Miss Missouri) Katie Kearney garnering the highest bid at $4,100.

PHOTOS AND VIDEO: 2019 Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament

That year, musician Danielle Marie (King) and her team from Bulkley Valley Financial Services (BVFS) — Tim Veenstra, Joel Veenstra, Sean Carey, Don Sutton and Ted Veenstra — came out on top with a score of 20-under-par.

Danielle Marie will not be back to defend her title, but the field does include a wide range of high profile professional hockey players, curlers, baseball players, Olympians and TV personalities.

They include hometown favourites Joe Watson, Dan Hamhuis and Rachel Brown.

Delwisch noted because of the absence of the tourney last year, organizers are trying to go the extra mile this time around.

That is why they moved the Canucks Alumni Hockey Game, which has in past years been a separate event played in the winter to the Thursday before the golf tournament.

READ MORE: Celebrity golf tourney turns $125K over to charity

“It’s been three years since we did it and you want to make it big,” he said.

Beneficiaries of the 2022 tournament are the Bulkley Valley Health Foundation and Bulkley Valley Youth Sport Foundation.

Since 2011, the health foundation has worked to improve medical facilities in the region. Among its projects have been a second ultrasound, specialty surgical equipment, maternity ward enhancements and the CT scanner.

The youth sport foundation, founded just last year, also seeks to improve health outcomes in the valley through removing barriers to sports. One of its very first projects was providing nine sets of junior golf clubs to the Smithers Golf and Country Club that kids without clubs can borrow at no cost.

In 2019, the tournament donated $125,000 to the health foundation and the Smithers Community Cancer Care Team.

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Curler Rachel Brown, Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion who has represented Canada on the world stage, is among the celebrities lined up for the Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament scheduled for August 11-13. (Contributed photo)
Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament organizers turned over $125,000 to the Bulkley Valley Health Foundation and Smithers Cancer Care Team Sept. 13 at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Thom Barker photo
Faber Drive performs Saturday afternoon at the fourteenth tee box “Gazebo Party” at the end of the Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament. (Thom Barker photo)
Katie Kearney, who received the highest bid ($4,100) at the celebrity auction tees off at the third hole Saturday during the Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament. (Thom Barker photo)
From left: Merissa DeVries, Julie Delege, Mikayla Rottluff, Maria Lingard and Laurelle Arpin, the beer cart women, kept the golfers well-lubricated during the Par 3 contest at the Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament on Friday afternoon. Thom Barker photo
Steve Darling auctions off the Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament celebrities at Boston Pizza Thursday evening. (Facebook photo)

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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