Boating Business Marks a Decade of Raising Funds for Marine Charities

With a decade of supporting marine charities under its belt, the annual Boating Business Charity Golf Tournament has become a marquee industry event. In mid June, 106 members of our recreational marine family gathered for a round of best-ball golf at Shawneeki Golf and Country Club in Sharon, Ontario.

Despite the early morning sabre rattling of thunder and rainfall, the storm clouds parted just in time for the event, giving way to sunshine for the rest of the day – the perfect setting for golfing with friends.

Although the final numbers from our tournament are still being crunched, to date our tournament has successfully raised more than $170,000 for various marine charities over its 10-year history.

This year, the tournament once again raised funds for the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) – Lake Joseph Centre; and the Ontario Sailing Able Sail, Access BOOM Mobile Program.

In addition to registrations and donations, charity funds are raised through live auction prize items donated by our major sponsors as well as through the raffle of a broad assortment of prize items. Each year, numerous event attendees step up to the plate for charity by donating raffle items. We greatly appreciate all of you who made the effort to support these wonderful causes, which enrich the lives of those coping with disabilities.

So where exactly do proceeds from our tournament go?

Contributions to Ontario Sailing's Access BOOM Mobile Program has helped the organization grow its fleet of special Access Dinghies, specially designed to meet the needs of sailors with physical and cognitive disabilities. The Ontario-based program enables participants to safely enjoy the fun of sailing alongside certified instructors.

Support for CNIB goes towards the operation of the charity's Lake Joseph Centre in MacTier, Ontario. Here the group helps partially sighted or blind children and youth to enjoy the complete summer camping experience, including swimming, canoeing, power boating, kayaking, sailing, cycling and simply sitting around the campfire.

CNIB representative, Owen Parker and Tom Draper worked the tournament's putting hole challenge, where participants donned a variety of goggles that simulated several sight-impairing conditions. Experiencing for moments what many Canadians live with daily, golfers were tasked with a long-range putt towards a distant scoreboard.

Helping to support these causes, Rick Layzell of MD Marine Insurance graciously played the role of auctioneer and raffle ticket announcer during the evening's dinner, contributing greatly to the success of the event and good times shared. Boating Business would like to sincerely thank him for his selfless efforts.

Speaking of effort, with an impressive team score of 60 on the par-72 course, this year's tournament winning team consisted of Mark Smid and Antoine Lejeuine, both of GE Capital, Dave Mayhew of The Boat Warehouse, and Legend Boats' golf ‘ringer', Jesse Davis. It would seem 12 under par is becoming the winning tradition, with teams claiming the tournament trophy with that score in 2014 and 2013.

Winning the Longest Drive challenge this year was Boating Ontario's Cynthia Hodgson for the women and Legend Boats' Jacques Maltais for the men.

Jeff Stovold of Lefroy Harbour landed his shot in the right spot, winning MD Marine Insurance's Mystery Hole challenge on hole 10.

Laser-eyed Dan Loughead of Bearing Marketing and on-the-money Amanda Comission of Yamaha Motor Canada won the Closest to the Pin Challenge for the men and women respectively.

Volvo Penta's Chris Chapman came away the winner of the Straightest Drive Challenge.

Factory Recreation's Doug Sagan relied on all his other senses to prove his short game was the best, winning the Putting Challenge.

Our incredible and delicious porchetta pork roast was kindly supplied and served by Andy and Victoria Palotta of Canadian Outdoor Sport Shows Inc. the producers of the Spring Fishing and Boat Show (usually held in February each year in Mississauga, Ontario at the International Centre).

A very special thanks goes out to the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel for donating our most important live auction item, several nights stay at the hotel during the upcoming Toronto International Boat Show (January 8 to 17). It also sponsored the ’19th Hole' back at the clubhouse, which serves as a social hotspot after the tournament where golfers gather to share the day's experiences.

A big thank you goes out to Investors Group, which sponsored our wonderful dinner, and was the perfect conclusion to an excellent day. It also donated a special prize during the tournament, which is always much appreciated.

Yamaha Motor Canada has consistently played a huge role at our event through the years, helping to ensure our live auction is a success through the donation of an assortment of major prizes.

Boating Business would also like to recognize all of our generous event sponsors, the Shawneeki golf course staff, auction item donors, hole sponsors and volunteers.

Thank you to our lead sponsors:

• BnB Bar – Sharaton Centre Toronto Hotel
• Investors Group

• Spring Fishing and Boat Show
• Yamaha Motor Canada

This year's hole sponsors:
Canadian Boat Shows – Toronto International Boat Show
GE Capital
The Golf and Travel Show
Lakeside Financial
MD Marine Insurance
Mercury Marine
Natural Marine
Ogilvy Insurance
Ontario Sailing
Shawneeki Golf Club
Scepter Corp.
Toronto Golf and Travel Show
Volvo Penta

The support of all our sponsors, partners and volunteers means so much to the lives of people supported by our event charities. We truly appreciate your generosity and eagerly look forward to seeing you again next year.

Our 11th Annual Boating Business Charity Golf Tournament is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2016.