By Dave Finn
Earlier this week I had the tremendous privilege of participating in the 17th Annual Chelsea Hotel Charity Golf Classic at Wooden Sticks in Uxbridge, Ontario. Not only did I get the opportunity to play at one of Canada’s premier golf courses, the tournament raised over $100,000 for a very worthy cause.
Tournament Organizer and Director of Public Relations for the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, Tracy Ford told me that:
“We have raised $1.5 million net for the following charities – Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity (when we were part of the Delta Hotels chain and it was their charity of choice) and then from 2013 to present, it’s SickKids Foundation. I chose them when we made the transition and had the opportunity to choose our own charity.”
The highlight of the event was listening to 9-year old Hartley Bernier’s heartfelt and inspiring speech of about his brave battle with Hirshspung’s Disease which causes motility issues in his bowels. He spent the first 100 days of his life at SickKids and has undergone more than 16 surgeries and visits The Hospital for Sick Children almost weekly.
Hirschsprung’s disease can be genetic, but in Hartley’s case, there is no known hereditary connection. Hartley was given his first stoma, an opening in his abdomen to empty waste. He received his stoma and permanent IV at only a few days old and these are still important to keeping Hartley alive and healthy to this day.
Ashley and Daniel, attribute their son’s life to their doctor and the GIFT (Group for the Improvement of Intestinal Function and Treatment) program at SickKids. GIFT is the only formal intestinal rehabilitation program in Canada.
For updated information on how you can become involved in next year’s event visit their website at: https://chelseacharitygolfclassic.com/
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost pediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s healthcare through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. For more information please visit: www.sickkidsfoundation.com/bepartofit
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