The eighth annual Richardson Charity Golf Tournament is a chance for people to have a fun day of playing golf while helping raise money for Summerfest, an annual opportunity for children and youth living with epilepsy to enjoy summer camp with appropriate nursing care.
Held Aug. 24 at Ariss Valley Golf Club near Guelph, the tournament was launched by chief organizer Ian Richardson and his family in honour of his father, who lived with epilepsy.
Since the tournament was launched in 2006, almost $30,000 has been raised. Each year the event aims to raise about $5,000, Richardson says.
“As a family we said, ‘why don’t we book a day where we try to get everyone out for some golf and turn it into a fundraiser and raise what we can for epilepsy,’ ” says Richardson.
“It grew from that. The first year we had maybe 20 to 30 people and we now get around 100 people each year. . . . The goal is to just raise as much money as possible and getting everyone out for a fun day.”
When the first tournament was held, most participants were the Richardson’s family members and some close friends. With each tournament came more people; at first friends of friends, then expanding to others.
Eventually, corporate sponsors came on board, including Suncor, Rogers Communications Inc. and Burger King, says Richardson.
Richardson says if there’s one key thing he’s learned since launching the tournament it’s that epilepsy affects many people — both directly and indirectly.
“I was surprised by how many people either had a family member or a friend who was epileptic and they understood how that impacts, not just the person with epilepsy, but also the family members,” says Richardson.
Richardson the tournament’s growth has surprised him, adding it’s especially touching to see others getting involved with the tournament, whether or not they are in some way affected by epilepsy.
“After living what we lived through with my father, in terms of how epilepsy impacted our lives, we have got a reason to do what we can to raise as much money as possible, but it’s great to see other people chipping in and helping out,” he says.
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Writer: Deron Hamel