RCMP hit the links for charity

The RCMP in Golden will once again be hosting a golf tournament to aid local students.

In the 20 plus years the Golden RCMP Detachment has been hosting their annual Charity Golf Tournament, they have raised about $45,000 to help Golden students receive post-secondary education.

“The last four or five years we’ve done two $1,000, this year we’re doing two $1,000 bursaries and five $500. We had a really good year last year,” said Constable Brady Knezacek with the Golden RCMP.

They used to have a loose guideline that the bursaries were to go to students going into some form of law enforcement, but over the years they have given money to students going into criminology, medicine, and even firefighter training.

“Golden Secondary School picks the students, and I just write the cheques,” said Knezacek.

Over the years, the RCMP tournament has become one of the most anticipated of the golfing season, and organizer Sharon Pearson has already been feeling the excitement from some of the local participants.

“There’s a lot of the same teams coming back every year. And they always make sure they phone. I was getting calls back in January asking me if I had the date set yet. They want to know, because they want to be here,” she said.

At the time of the interview, they already had 34 golfers signed up. They cap out at 100, and last year they had about 90 participants.

“We try to keep it around 100, because the meal and the golf carts are all included. And you’re guaranteed a prize,” said Corporal Steve Pettit, another Golden RCMP officer involved in organizing the tournament.

“Everybody has the opportunity to win a houseboating weekend. That’s one of our longtime donors. They’ve done this for us for 11 years, and the trip is valued at, I think about $3,000,” added Knezacek.

The tournament is run on volunteers as well as donations and sponsorships from local businesses.

“It’s a really good community program, because the community helps out and donates, and the money goes back to the kids from the community,” said Pearson.

And with the exception of dinner for the volunteers, every penny raised goes to the bursaries.

The tournament has always been “scramble” golf, but they are trying something new this year, and making it a 9 a.m. shotgun start, which means everyone tees off at the same time on different holes at the Golden Golf Club.

“We get really good support from the golf course. We have a lot of volunteers, and they give them golf carts to get back and forth. They’ve been great,” said Pettit, the golfing expert of the organizing committee.

“If it wasn’t for Steve, all of us non-golfers that have all of the enthusiasm wouldn’t know what we were doing,” said Pearson.

The tournament is on June 11, and you can contact the Golden RCMP Detachment at 344-2221 for more information and to enter.