Saturday, February 27th, 2010
Fundraiser in June will help sick children
With daughters 11 and nine years old, Mike Weir is a conscientious parent as well as a capable golfer.
Weir said via conference call Tuesday that status among the world’s elite players — he’s currently No. 30 in the World Golf Rankings — has put him in a position to give back and one of those ways will be to continue the Mike Weir Miracle Golf Drive for Kids.
The 2010 Miracle Golf Drive event will be held in Winnipeg at St. Charles Country Club on June 7, the Monday after the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio and 10 days before the start of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
The eight-time PGA Tour winner and 2003 Masters champion began the initiative in 2007 with a goal of raising $10 million for children’s health-care causes across the country.
Already, after events in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, the first $2 million has been put to work.
“I’m proud to be able to participate in making a difference in the lives of children in Manitoba next June,” Weir said.
The daylong tournament here will include golf at St. Charles with Weir playing a few holes with different teams, a pro-am for juniors, a clinic by Weir and a gala dinner open to the public.
Having arguably Canada’s most popular golfer ever backing a fund-raiser and on the grounds for the day does more than thrill Children’s Hospital Foundation board of directors chairman Andrew McPherson.
“In some ways it’s hard to put into words the recognition and profile that’s going to be generated by the presence of Mike Weir,” McPherson said Tuesday. “I’m going to say there are 30, 40, maybe 50 golf tournaments that support our foundation throughout the year and they raise anywhere from a couple hundred to 20, 30 thousand dollars.
“An event like this will probably raise 10 or 20 times that amount so the kick that it will give to the fundraising efforts will be amazing.”
McPherson said the target for much of the foundation’s fundraising is research to support and enhance the care given to the 130,000 kids who go through the Children’s Hospital each year.
“There are special needs and equipment that aren’t generally funded through the government,” he said. “And we have the job of attracting and retaining children’s health research. There’s a lot of cutting-edge research going on here.
“Bringing something like this here that could raise a fairly significant amount of money, it’ll be such a kick.
“I think 2010 is going to be an outstanding year for the foundation, not just from a financial perspective but also help raise awareness, which is what we’re trying to do,” said a smiling McPherson. “Keeping awareness up and keeping funds flowing to help kids in Manitoba is what we’re about.”