Kelowna Rotary fundraiser to help food bank

FortisBC Rotary Pro-Am golf tournament set for The Harvest on May 15

One of the most successful fundraising events in Kelowna returns to the Harvest Golf Club links Tuesday, May 15.

The 2018 FortisBC Rotary Pro-Am Golf Tournament will feature a mix of pro golfers playing for a winner’s purse of $15,000, along with amateur players representing a cross-section of local business and professional people.

“Our tournament is an excellent example of individuals and organizations coming together in the spirit of teamwork to help fund our Rotary initiatives,” said Christine Patton, chair of this year’s tournament.

Last year, a significant portion of the funds raised supported the building and outfitting of a commercial kitchen at Freedom’s Door, a local non-profit recovery home for male addicts.

In the past, the tournament has enabled Rotary, which has eight clubs in Kelowna, to secure funds for scholarships, Kelowna General Hospital health programs, the Salvation Army, youth programs, education/literacy programs and many others.

This year, Rotary plans to direct a large portion of the funds generated to support the the Central Okanagan Food Bank for needed capital projects at the organization’s new location on Enterprise Way.

Doug Stout, vice-president of market development with FortisBC, said Rotary’s mission to give back to the community— service above self is the service organization’s motto—aligns with the utility’s desire to give back to those in need.

“It’s always a challenge from our perspective as there are so many different organizations out there with worthy causes and issues, so we try to spread ourselves around the province as best we can,” Stout said.

“The tournament is a fun event to be a part of but we also see how hard Rotary works at this, the volunteer hours that are put in by Rotarians to ensure the money raised goes back to the community.”

Kelowna lawyer Dominic Petraroia, with tournament sponsor legal firm Farris, Vaughn LLP, said area residents are blessed to be living in the Okanagan Valley, and Kelowna in particular, but our good fortunate should not be taken for granted.

“Giving back is our way of saying thanks and to help make our part of the world a little better for others in need,” Petraroia said.

“And from what I’ve seen, Rotary is all about service to others. They walk the talk. The pro am golf tournament is exceptionally well run and contributes significant donations back to the community. And they spread the money around year after year to help many worthy charities.”

Jonathan Friesen, CEO of tournament sponsor Mission Group, said he hopes their Kelowna-based land development firm can reflect the same values of giving a hand up to people in need across the community as illustrated by Kelowna Rotary’s conviction of purpose.

“When we take care of people in need, our community is a better place to live for everyone,” Friesen said.

Catherine Bradley, account executive with Compugen Inc., said the high-tech service firm’s partnership with FortisBC led them to sign on as a tournament sponsor for what will be the fourth consecutive year.

“We find that those people who participate in the tournament are stepping up to the tee box because they really want to be part of the event and support Rotary’s desire to give back to their community,” Bradley said.

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