Duchene rakes it in for HHHSF
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | July 31, 2014
Just like the medal around his neck, it seems as if everything Matt Duchene touches turns to gold.
A total of 184 golfers attended the Matt Duchene Gold Medal Golf Classic (known as the Rotary Charity Golf Classic in previous years) at the Pinestone Resort on July 24. The 17th annual event, which included an evening dinner and auction, netted over $65,000 for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services' Making Moments Matter palliative care campaign.
According to Dale Walker, executive director of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation (HHHSF), the tournament is the foundation's largest fundraiser for both the Haliburton and Minden hospitals.
As in previous years, the event was presented by the Rotary Club of Haliburton. However, it was renamed to highlight the recent successes of Haliburton's own Olympic gold medalist, Matt Duchene.
"We did it in honour of Matt and his accomplishment," said Walker.
In the past, the tournament has raised an average of $40-50,000 annually, she said.
Duchene, a centre of for the Colorado Avalanche, didn't play in the tournament but sat at hole 16 where golfers could buy one of his drives for $10 to improve their own score. Cash prizes of $10,000 and $25,000 were also up for grabs on three sponsored holes.
About 200 people attended the dinner at the resort, which raised thousands during the live and silent auctions. A couple of big ticket items included an autographed Duchene Team Canada jersey that went for $8,500 and a framed hockey stick that he used in Sochi, Russia, which fetched $5,250. The winning bids were made by seasonal residents.
After dinner, guests were able to partake in a question-and-answer session with Duchene and special guests, including former NHL referee and president of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Scotty Morrison, spoke at the event.
Although a sports theme dominated the auctions, Walker pointed out that there were other things up for grabs such as jewellery and art.
Another plus for organizers was that this was one of the first years that golfers weren't rained on.
"It's torrential rains, usually," laughed Walker.
Approximately 30 volunteers made the event possible.
With the recent success of this fundraiser, the Making Moments Matter campaign has raised $600,000 for the creation of the Haliburton Highlands Palliative Care Centre. The goal is to raise $900,000 for the facility, which will be located at the Haliburton hospital.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.