Hole-in-one

Annual golf tournament gives back to child health, post-secondary education

Golf may appear to be a group of people relaxing and having a good time, and you’re not wrong. However, if you see Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) at its annual charity golf tournament, the golfers are actually working hard for the community.

For the last 23 years, the annual event raises money for the University of Manitoba’s (U of M) dairy science bursary fund and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba (CHFM). In 2019, DFM gave $6,000 to three post-secondary students and another $37,000 to CHFM. As of 2020, the fun-filled golf day has truly helped with the U of M and CHFM’s initiatives.

DFM’s board chair David Wiens participates each year and says that what began as a small gathering in the late ‘90s is now a 300-plus person affair that includes an evening banquet for farmers, sponsors, and representatives from the CHFM and U of M.

“Our approach has been to give back to the community,” says Wiens, whose dairy farm is located near Grunthal. “Through the Foundation our farmers have been able to raise money for much needed, state-of-the-art equipment, which helps the Foundation increase the hospitals capacity/ability to run important and innovative programs.”

The Texas Scramble style sees a foursome begin on each of the course’s holes. Throughout the day there are light-hearted challenges such as hitting a ball off a milk jug or teeing off in a pair of hockey gloves. There is also the lucrative hole-in-one challenge, which is still awaiting its first lucky winner.

And while the tournament is postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19, that did not prevent DFM to step up and make outright donations to the U of M and CHFM. For Wiens, the decision to maintain support was simple.

Photo courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba

“We can be responsible citizens on the one hand and also continue to make our contributions to what we consider important organizations,” he says. “Both need this kind of funding with or without the golf tournament. It becomes an important source of revenue for them.”

Speaking for the CHFM, campaign and development manager Courtney Nodrick says despite the lack of duffing this year, she is still so proud to be a community partner with DFM and its farmer members.

“It’s only because of generous members of the community- like DFM- who dedicate their time and efforts into fundraising events like their annual golf tournament, that we can continue to care for sick and injured children,” she says. “Everyone at DFM is helping transform health of sick children in the community because of this event.”

The funds raised from the golf tournament have helped the CHFM contribute to pediatric research, capital projects, renovation of current areas, and the relocation of clinics into newer space.

For Nodrick, appreciation is an understatement when she explains how DFM helps to better the community and the 130,000 children who access the Children’s Hospital each year, even through a friendly game of golf.

“Words don’t even really begin to describe how meaningful that is,” she says. “The dairy farmers in Manitoba see that they are having a true impact and changing children’s lives and changing their health for the better. It’s about these kids.”

Photo courtesy of Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba

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