Dan Hamhuis signs an autograph for former Smithers Councillor Lorne Benson during last year’s Smithers Charity Golf Tournament gala at the Smithers Golf and Country Club.

Dan Hamhuis signs an autograph for former Smithers Councillor Lorne Benson during last year’s Smithers Charity Golf Tournament gala at the Smithers Golf and Country Club.

Smithers Rotary set to host 21st Charity Golf Tournament

The 21st Smithers Charity Golf Tournament, hosted by Smithers’ number one Canuck, Dan Hamhuis, is teeing off June 14-16.

The 21st Smithers Charity Golf Tournament, hosted by Smithers’ number one Canuck, Dan Hamhuis, is teeing off June 14-16 with a slew of familiar celebrities sure to spark excitement.

Helen Upperton, Jesse Lumsden, Joe Watson, Jack McLihargey, Manny Malhotra and other notables will be on hand for the charity event.

Last year’s tournament was a huge success raising over $45,000 for local charities and attracted more than 200 people to the Smithers Golf and Country Club to participate in the event.

This year’s tournament promises to be even bigger with more celebrities, more prizes and more star-studded thrills that comes only once a year.

“I think it’s going to be a little bit bigger than last year. It will be as fun if not more fun than last year,” tournament co-chair, Murray Hawse said.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to really showcase Smithers to the celebrities and make them want to come back again.”

Following last year’s success the Smithers Charity Golf Tournament organizers wanted to raise the bar by bringing in some of the biggest names in sports and local talent.

The weekend kicks off Friday with helicopter rides so celebrities can get a birds eye view of our wonderful town. Celebrities and sponsors then have a practice round to familiarize themselves with the course, followed by a silent auction that runs until Saturday night.

New this year is an autograph session for the public to come and meet their favorite celebrities, Friday, June 15, 6-8 p.m.

Saturday the event tees off with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. and the public is welcome to attend and cheer on local competitors. Later that night, take part in the live auction, a huge hit last year with on-air broadcasting from the Peak. Phone or text message bids to win some great gear and swag and help raise money for the BV Foundation and Rotary Club, which will be donated to local charities.

“It was a really successful event last year,” said Hawse.

“We gave $16,000 to Rotary, $16,000 to the BV Foundation and all the proceeds, are kept right here in the community and the surrounding area.”

“This year we hope to surpass that amount, our goal is quite a bit bigger and we hope we reach it.”

Hamhuis, hosting the tournament, is excited to be back in Smithers. Rumour has it he’s bringing some of his Vancouver Canucks teammates with him, which will stir local intrigue.

“If it’s anything like last year, it should be a lot of fun,” Hamhuis said. “We have a good group of celebrities coming up for it and of course the local golfers make it a lot of fun.”

Although Hamhuis couldn’t play last year due to an injury, he still had fun ripping around meeting local golfers and getting to know participants.

“It was neat last year, I had a different approach than years past,” he said.

“I drove around in a cart and got to meet everyone so it was kind of a new experience doing it that way. It was a lot of fun being able to meet all the different groups.”

The autograph session this year will give the public the chance to meet all the celebrities, which Hamhuis thinks is a great idea for everyone.

“I think it benefits both sides to be more interactive with the community,” said Hamhuis.

“It’s great for the celebrities to meet the people of our town. We have so many great people and a great community. Kids in our town may be inspired by what some of the celebrities have achieved in their athletic careers.”

There is one thing to expect for sure by attracting all these high profile celebrities to Smithers. Overwhelming fanfare is sure to follow.

“There’s a real buzz in town and it’s fun just to be back with everyone,” proclaims Hamhuis. “The whole weekend will be a real blast.”