Yesterday, we reported on the golf portion of the 2015 Charity Golf Classic. If you’ve not yet seen the 100 pictures of the event, click HERE to check them out!
Following the golf, many of the golfers and supporters gathered at the Boreen Hall in Esterhazy, where a superb meal was accompanied by presentations, speeches, and the announcement of the actual amount raised this year for the Hospital Building Fund.
The evening began with cocktails at 6:00 p.m. At around 7:00 the event was formally opened by Peter Haugen, then grace was then said by Father Valentine, and the buffet-style meal was served by the catering staff of Esterhazy Bowlarena.
Following the meal, the presentations began in earnest. Here are some of the comments from the various speakers. (Writer’s note, due to background noise on the audio recordings, I may have missed a few words here and there, apologies to speakers if that is the case!)
Bob Bjornerud, MLA.
“I’ve had people say to me this spring, in the last budget, that the Weyburn hospital was announced, and someone said to me that’s a real bad thing, why wasn’t Esterhazy first? But you know what?, that’s a positive thing that happened, because they are out the road and now the others that have to be built are next in line for money. I can’t say we’re next in line, I hope we are, but I’m telling you tonight it’s coming, just bear with it.
One thing I noticed, you’re very close to getting the amount of money you need for when the announcement is made. Maybe it’s in this budget, maybe it’s in the next budget, all I can ask you to do is keep working hard and keep raising the money and get all your dollars in place. For when the announcement’s made it would be a shame to all of a sudden run back out and say we need a bit more money before we can start. Because you know as well as I do that your community will raise the money that’s needed, but let’s keep moving towards our goal, because it’s going to happen sooner or later, I can tell you that much.”
Don Hood, Chair of the Esterhazy and District Charity Golf Executive.
“Thank you for taking the time to be here, the world is busy, and people are traveling long distances to be here. Some people couldn’t even get here today they were so busy. But, we appreciate you coming and we appreciate you supporting the fundraising for the hospital.
This is the 15th year of the charity golf. Most charity organizations like this don’t survive this long. So, in 15 years this group and the community has raised $2,885,000. We’ve just about hit three million, and this is the major fundraiser for the St. Anthony’s Hospital Building Fund. This is where the hospital will get built, from this group coming up with the money.
Bob talked about numbers. Community share that we need is seven and a half million. We’re sitting, counting today’s money, at six and a half. So we are close. And we’re close to being ready when the government comes along and says Okay, we’ve got our money. And so I know provincial money is tight, but getting Weyburn and some of these regional hospitals out of the way is a good thing. And I believe that we are rising up towards the top of the list, and in the not too distant future, if oil prices would turn around, and potash prices moved up a little, we’re getting lose to the top.
I thank you for your support, and hope that people can continue to support us, as this hospital will be built. It is extremely important to this area. So thank you.”
Dr. Mandi Nel
“On behalf of Esterhazy and District Medical Clinic, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support for the Charity Golf Classic. Thank you to all of the individuals as well as all of the businesses that make this a great success every year. Thank you.
Esterhazy is a small but very vibrant community, and as far as our team, I would like to tell you that we are committed to ensuring stable medical services, and exceptional patient care. As we all know, we are working towards a new hospital. And it is amazing to see how far we’ve come, and how close we are, but it will be there.
During the past few years, we have had multiple problems with our facility. Most recently we had to replace the air conditioning, and I’m sure that both patients and staff alike would report that it was quite uncomfortable during a couple of particularly hot summer weeks. But fortunately, we were privileged enough to get the resources to buy some much needed fans. This is just one of the examples of our facility showing its age, as well as the community’s commitment to enable resources.
There are many individuals and groups that are advocating for a new hospital, on different fronts. But this would not be possible without our organized support for fundraising issues. We have to compete with other rural communities when it comes to recruiting and retaining physicians. A new hospital would be, and is, a very important part of the medical services that this community can offer to our future and current physicians. It makes our community a lot more attractive to work in…
So I just want to say thank you for making Esterhazy a great community to live in, to work in, and to raise a family in.”
Following the speeches, Paul Haugen handed the podium to Paul Gill who continued with the acknowledgement of the businesses that have supported the fundraising. Specifically, he read out the names of the ten platinum-level businesses ($5000 and above), and the 20 Masters-level supporters ($2500 – $4999). As he read the names, representatives of the companies stood to be recognized.
Although the names of the businesses at the Champions-level ($1000 – $2499) and Winners-level ($500 – $999) were not read, Paul encouraged visitors to read those names in the program. The program will be reproduced in the photo gallery at the end of this report.
Volunteers were then acknowledged, including the golf course staff at Carlton Trail, those who helped with registration, those who assisted in the running of the various skills contests, the refreshment cart drivers, and suppliers of food, the official photographer, and the supplier of the golf carts.
Peter Haugen then re-took the podium. He looked back on how much has changed in the 15 years of the Golf Classic, mentioning again that the total raised by this annual event alone has exceeded 2.7 million dollars over the years to support healthcare in the community. He said, “We are proud of such outstanding numbers for such a small community, and you should all be proud of what we have accomplished together.” He then acknowledged that the efforts of the golfers are critical to the success of the fundraising. He said “You are part of something special, and you should be proud of yourselves.”
As the evening progressed, various individuals were recognized for their canvassing efforts. Also the winners of various golf competitions within the event were announced. Of course, the culmination of the evening was the announcement of the total amount raised by the Charity Golf Classic this year.
Peter Haugen brought that announcement as follows.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this has been a great day. On behalf of the committee I’d like to thank the many volunteers who helped us today and in the months that led up to this day. We’d like to again thank the many corporate sponsors and the individual canvassers who raised money for healthcare in our community. Lastly, I’d like to thank you, the golfers, and those of you who bought tickets for tonight’s dinner. You have been part of something special.
We’ve heard tonight that we’re going to be ready when the government knows that we are committed and ready when the time comes. And the work you’ve done tonight will help guarantee that we are ready when that time comes. So, you should feel proud of what we have accomplished together.
Now, for this year’s total. With corporate sponsors, and individual fundraisers, this year’s Charity Golf Classic has raised $217,000.
In conclusion, let’s not forget how important our efforts are here today. It is important for our government to know how important we view healthcare in rural Saskatchewan, and we have demonstrated the enthusiasm in this room, the enthusiasm in our community, and the enthusiasm we have seen in the support of our business community. We hope you had fun today, and we look forward to seeing you all next year.”
The gallery of images below may be opened by clicking any thumbnail