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Why Not City Missions prepares for return of annual golf tournament

Local NewsWhy Not City Missions prepares for return of annual golf tournament

Why Not City Missions is gearing up for its annual golf tournament fundraiser and the event is set to be held at the Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

The fundraiser has been running for nearly 14 years and organizers are looking forward to hosting this year’s tournament in Brantford.

“We’ve hosted the event at the Flamborough Hills Golf Club for a number of years now, but this year, we’ve moved it into Brantford because we wanted to bring it back to the local level,” said Karen Stewart, Executive Director for Why Not City Missions. “We’re hoping it will be a good change for people not having to drive out of town and it’s also nice because for our hole sponsors, they’ll be able to get exposure in their own city as well.”

Golfers will tee off for the 18-hole tournament with a double shotgun start at 12:30 p.m., and Stewart said with contests for the longest drive, closest to the pin and putting, there will be plenty of opportunities for some fun competition and prizes along the way.

Golfers pose for a photo during a past Why Not City Missions annual golf tournament. Photo courtesy Karen Stewart.

As the tournament wraps up, attendees will head into the club house at around 6:00 p.m. for announcements, updates on the not-for-profit, and a chance to enter for several raffle prizes. Dinner will follow around 6:30 p.m.

“We get a lot of the same faithful people who come out to play every year and at that point in the day, it’s just a nice time to really catch up with everyone while they’re having dinner and talk about a little bit about what we’ve done and achieved in the past year,” Stewart said.  

The Executive Director explained that funds raised from the event will go towards supporting the non-profit’s Youth Centre.

“We have a lot of teens coming through these days and we’re still getting between 25 to 40 people nightly,” she said. “The funds from the tournament will really help with meal costs and activities; just all of the general operations of running this place so that these young people have a safe place they can go to.”

The Why Not City Missions Youth Centre is a free drop-in program that runs seven days a week from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and dozens of teens visit stop by every night for various resources.

“At the Youth Centre, we offer a hot meal as well as food bank and clothing bank access for all of our youth who come through.  We also have a counsellor on site that comes in weekly for both group therapy and individual therapy, and we always have a lot of fun activities like crafts and games on the go,” said Stewart. “A lot of the youth come the full seven days a week and it’s just a safe place that most of them call ‘home’. We’ve really strived to make it feel very welcoming and they have access to an amazing team of staff, volunteers and placement students who are all there to pour into their lives and build relationships with them.”

A foursome poses for a photo on the green during a past Why Not City Missions annual golf tournament. Photo courtesy Karen Stewart.

She said that over the years, the centre has become a critical tool to build up the teens’ network with various services across the community.

“A lot of these kids don’t necessarily have all those supports at home. We try to build their support networks and hook them into any other services in the community that they may be able to utilize and get the help for whatever their specific situations are,” said Stewart. “By getting to know them and building those relationships, we can really start to connect them with those services, and we actually bring them to the centre to introduce them to the youth so that they feel safe and comfortable to go on their own later. For example, the counselling; it can be extremely daunting to go and talk to somebody even if it has nothing to do with a mental health diagnosis and they’re just feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to go or how to process emotion, having that available right there in the place they feel safe, has been such a positive thing for them.”

Overall, Stewart said that her and the team are looking forward to the fundraising event and being able to continue providing the much-needed resources for youth and their needs.

“It’s been a long-standing event for some time now, it’s always laid out very well and now that we’re just under two weeks out, I think everybody is just really happy and excited to see the day come. We’re looking forward to seeing everybody again,” said Stewart.

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