One of the benefits of being a winter athlete is getting to enjoy summers at home. Of course there are countless hours of strength and condition training that goes on, especially this summer with the rehabilitation of my knee, but I also get to participate in a few of my favorite fundraisers each year. Attending these events gives me the opportunity to give a small contribution back to the community.
My fundraising tour started this past June in the quaint town of Smithers, BC. A compilation of roughly 13 professional and Olympic athletes made the trek north to participate in the Smithers Charity Golf Tournament. A few high-profiled athletes that were in attendance included local Canuck Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, NHL legends Charlie Simmer, Joe Watson and Jack McIlhargey, Olympic sliders Helen Upperton, Justin Kripps, and Jesse Lumsden, Leanne Pelosi, Stan Rey and myself. We were treated like celebrities upon our arrival with a first class tour of the old mining town and of the towering surrounding mountains via helicopter. Sitting in the copilots seat was definitely a highlight despite the fresh vomit that was donated to the cockpit from a rider before. He claims it was unsettled food but we figure he had a little too much fun the night before. Over the weekend we played two rounds on the marvelous greens of Smithers Golf and Country Club. Together we raised over $30 000 which was donated to the Bulkley Valley Foundation and the Smithers Rotary Club.
The second stop on the fundraising tour brought Stan and me a little closer to home. From Whistler, where I had recently finished a training camp with the Canada Ski Cross team, we drove south to the Ritchie Bros. head office in Burnaby, BC.
The day was filled with team-to-team competition full of fun and games to raise funds for Kidsport. Various Olympians, celebrities and corporate companies gathered to take the day off work and participate in the third annual Ritchie Bros. Corporate Kids Challenge. The motto was ‘be a kid 4 a kid’ and I can vouch for everyone there that we definitely let our inner children run wild.
Through donations and auction items a total of more than $550 000 was raised. The funds went directly to Kidsport BC to promote active lifestyles in kids across the province.
The last stop on my summer fundraising tour was my favorite of them all. Tim and Lauralee Germain from T-Lane Transportation & Logistics are my most recent supporters. They are also huge supports of the Sunshine Foundation an organization that makes dreams come true for children challenged by severe disabilities or life-threatening illnesses in Canada. For the past few years Tim and Lauralee have been the working forces behind the annual Sunshine Dreams for Kids Golf Tournament at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, BC. During the day I had the privilege of making margaritas with two lovely ladies, Kathy and Sandra from T-Lane.
We mixed up a storm and made sure no golfer was left thirsty! A successful tournament, and a live and silent auction brought the total for the evening to over $160 000; This money went directly to the Sunshine Kids Dreamlift to Disneyland fund! I want to thank Tim and Lauralee for allowing me to participate in their fundraiser, sharing their gifts of love and compassion with so many people and for welcoming me into their lives.