Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie, NHL tough guy Jordin Tootoo and 102 other golfers had one thing in common Tuesday—they were swinging their clubs for the benefit of First Nations youth.
The first annual Westbank First Nation and Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society Golf Tournament raised over $30,000.
Proceeds from the tournament will go toward Westbank First Nation youth programming and the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society.
“It’s good for the community to have two different native organizations collaborate together,” said Michael Blackburn, a family support worker with the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society.
“Working as a team, you get more done. Us getting together, we’ve raised quite a bit of money to be able to provide for the youth.”
Blackburn said that the money raised will allow more youth to get involved in programs that the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society offers.
“Those things that get put on the back burner because we’re waiting for some more dollars might be able to be (accomplished) now because we’re going to have a bit of extra cash flow from this tournament.”
WFN Chief Robert Louie said that the tournament will help youth programming throughout Westbank First Nation.
“We strive to provide the best programming possible including a youth leadership team, snowboard team, recreational programs, summer kids camps, girl power groups, traditional and cultural training, tutoring and the design of a new youth centre to name a few,” said Louie.
Detroit Red Wings’ right wing Jordin Tootoo joined Louie’s foursome in the tournament and provided an autographed jersey to be auctioned off at the dinner.
WFN Coun. Mic Werstuik was part of the planning process for the tournament and said that he hopes to continue the tournament in the years to come.
“We wanted to make sure everyone had a great time. . .we want them to come back next year,” said Werstuik.