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C4K Golf Tournament
C4K Golf Tournament
Posted on 07/02/2014

By Mark Calder

(Smiths Falls) - It was a million-dollar moment.

Upper Canada District School Board Champions For Kids Foundation President David Thomas officially announced Wednesday night that the charity had passed the $1 million fundraising mark after less than seven years. Officials with the charity celebrated the milestone during the banquet at the 7th Annual Champions for Kids Foundation Golf Tournament, held at the Smiths Falls Golf and Country Club.

“I can tell you that I feel like a million bucks,” said Thomas in an interview. “When we started this Foundation we had hoped we would reach this milestone but I never dreamed it would be this quickly. It just goes to show you how caring our staff, students, community businesses and area residents are when it comes to helping kids enjoy their childhood.

“We all win here because we're not just raising funds, we're making moments for these children in dance, in soccer, in hockey and in music that students will cherish for the rest of their lives. We are making childhood dreams come true.”

The milestone was celebrated with cake and balloons at the end of the banquet to mark the occasion. During the interview, Thomas spoke of the Foundation's inception in January 2008. The director of education for the Upper Canada District School Board had been talking with a young man who could no longer afford to enrol his children in hockey because of home repairs he could not put off. The family was struggling to make ends meet, and Thomas and a group of his friends pooled their resources and ensured that the two boys could enrol in hockey that year. Taking his cue from another educational foundation he was involved with, Thomas worked with a group of dedicated volunteers to form Champions for Kids. Many of those volunteers are still with the Foundation today.

The charity raises funds to help children play sports, enjoy arts activities such as piano lessons and dance, and help parents with additional costs they may be facing to take a sick child for treatment out of town - such as meal and fuel expenses. Since its inception, Champions has helped hundreds of youth and their families.

The celebration was the highlight of a successful tournament which raised an estimated $50,000 to help the Foundation reach the million dollar mark. The total was gained through sponsorships, golf fees, and funds generated through a live and silent auction at the event.

The top team at the tournament was the foursome of Ray Lumsden, Kevin Beattie, Keith Fraser, and Bill Lumsden, who shot a team score of -21. The prize for most sportsmanlike team went to Val Allen, Susan Edwards, Sydney Collard and Ben Allen.

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