Smithers hosted the 21st Annual Charity Golf Tournament last weekend as sports celebrities from across Canada descended on the Smithers Golf and Country Club for one of the most exciting tournaments of the year.
Homegrown talents Dan Hamhuis, Joe Watson Jamie McCartney, Jody Pederson and Bill Stephens were all on hand for the weekend events as well as a wealth of other Canadian NHL and Olympic athletes including long time supporter Charlie Simmer and former Canucks Chris Oddleifson, Gerry O’Flaherty and Jack McIlhargey.
Returning for the second time were Olympians Helen Upperton and Jesse Lumsden. Some new faces to the tournament were Canadian ski cross Olympians Kelsey Serwa and Stan Rey. Canadian Olympic snowboarder Leanne Pelosi made an appearance as well as Canadian Brier competitor Kevin Folk.
Former Philadelphia Flyers and Hartford Whalers forward Lindsay Carson was on hand, and keeping a handle on events throughout the evening was famed radio broadcaster Ross Hawse.
However, probably the most exciting celebrity for Smithereens was Canucks centre Manny Malhotra who was swarmed with autographs during Friday nights signing session.
“They thought it was run very well, they had an extremely good time. They were so grateful for being asked to come up to Smithers and said they would gladly come back another time,” tournament co-chair Murray Hawse said.
But it was Hamhuis’ charisma and generosity that excited people most Saturday night, as he auctioned off a trip for two to a Canucks game and some signed gear from his team as he recalled his first tournament and thanked everyone for making it such a special event.
“It’s always fun coming back to participate in this tournament,” Hamhuis said. “I started in this tournament almost 19 years ago as a caddie for Jody Simmer. It’s been a great tournament this year. I love coming back.”
“It was neat just to have the privilege of driving around and meeting all the groups and having a good time.”
Although it was all for charity, and organizers reached and possibly surpassed their goal of $46,000, it was Chris Herkels’ team that pulled out an overall win with 13 under par.