The Little House Contracting Community Golf Tournament is set for Sept. 23 at Gallagher’s Canyon’s Pinnacle course. -Image: Contributed

Golf tourney focuses on hope, positivity

Charity event, Swinging For Hope, organized by Kelowna teen and his mom

In a world faced with recent storms of discrimination and atrocities that many hoped were buried in history, parents have been compelled to talk with their children and teens about maintaining ethics during times of strife – and how to do something positive to counter it.

That was how the idea of a charity golf tournament emerged based upon conversations between 13-year-old Dayton Jensen, and his mother, Tara Tschritter.

“I know how much I have – love and opportunity, specifically – and I wish everyone had those things,” Jensen, a KLO student says, reflecting on what motivated him to want to do something positive against the negative role models and divisiveness he has witnessed so readily in today’s media-saturated global society. And so arose the idea of helping support two humanitarian charities that have had tremendous impact, both locally and globally – while offering a fun, team-oriented, family-friendly outdoor event for everyone in the Okanagan to enjoy.

Jensen and his mother Tara Tschritter, President of Little House Contracting – a locally-based company that specializes in building and renovating small spaces – have organized a fun, family-friendly golf tournament at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Course, to be held Saturday, Sept. 23. The event, a ‘Nine and Dine’, features a team-based nine-hole golf tournament followed by dinner at the picturesque Gallagher’s Canyon.

This community gathering and sporting event benefits two local charities: HOPE Outreach and Safe House (HOPE) plus the Central Okanagan Refugee Committee (CORC).

HOPE (Helping Out People Exploited) provides a nightly downtown outreach for women on Kelowna’s downtown streets, offering information about community resources, basic hygiene and health supplies, harm reduction kits to combat the overdose crisis, emotional support, and community connections. Through the trust and bonds established, HOPE provides a safe house for women wanting to exit the trauma and exploitation of the street lifestyle. The House of HOPE provides a supportive atmosphere for recovery, counselling, and the pursuit of educational and career goals to empower women to change the direction of their lives.

“The House of HOPE changed my life,” says A.C., a former resident. “I have my children back, have my own business, and now am a volunteer with HOPE.”

“House of HOPE allowed me to connect with the community through First Nations ways,” furthers D.M. “I have my two children back and just completed year two at Okanagan College.”

Central Okanagan Refugee Committee (CORC), another charity the community golf tournament will benefit, is a consortium working together to sponsor refugees in partnership with Canadian Immigration. From helping families begin new lives out of the devastation of Kosovo in the 1990s to enabling many more flourish after fleeing numerous war-torn regions throughout the world, they have most recently sponsored several Syrian families, bringing hope and enthusiastic, appreciative new beginnings.

“The tanks were attacking our neighbourhood and anybody [who tried to leave their house] would die,” explains Mohammad Alshahoud. The Alshahoud family were brought to Kelowna from Syria by the Central Okanagan Refugee Committee. Subsequently, CORC has sponsored another daughter of the family, along with her husband and four children.

“It is a new life, new future, new friends, and new birthday to my family,” he beams. “We feel that we are human.”

The motivation to share welcoming acceptance and transform lives in our community is what drives the organizers of the Little House Contracting Community Golf Tournament.

“My family chose to support CORC and HOPE because we want to show love to the people that both organizations help,” Tschritter explains. “We know each dollar will be well used, creating opportunities for those we care about.”

Alongside Little House Contracting, numerous community business sponsors have stepped up to ensure the event is enjoyable for all and features lots of fun games and prizes. TD Wealth Management, Outland Landscape Design, House of Floors, Touchstone Law Group, Jensen Contracting, Odlum Brown Limited, and ESD Simulation Training are all proud to be supporters of an initiative that helps change the lives of so many – both those impacted by the charities benefitting from this initiative plus the children and teens looking for ways to make a difference towards positive change.

The Little House Contracting Community Golf Tournament welcomes golfers (and first-time enthusiasts) to join them for a fun-filled event that begins at Gallagher’s Canyon September 23. Teams start at 3:00 p.m. shotgun at the Pinnacle Course, and the tournament includes lots of fun games and prizes, plus a dinner to follow.

To register, go to gallagherscanyon.golfems2.com