With one final push to bid on silent auction items, TravelBrands completed their five-year fundraising goal of $1 million for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, following the conclusion of the company’s 2018 Charity Golf Classic.
The grand total of $291,475 in funds raised this year was presented last night (Sept. 13) after a day on the links at Eagle’s Nest Golf Club just north of Toronto. More than 140 golfers from across the Canadian travel industry (later joined by additional dinner guests) took part in the annual tournament, which featured 18 holes of golf with plenty of opportunities for fun throughout the day, including a mechanical bull, food stations and more.
“We challenged ourselves to raise roughly $290,000 this year so we could hit our million dollar target. I am so proud to say we achieved our goal,” said Frank DeMarinis, President & CEO, TravelBrands. “Thanks a million to our dedicated partners, staff and suppliers for making the golf tournament a huge success and helping us give back to a meaningful cause. I am looking forward to our next chapter with the SickKids Foundation.”
Frank DeMarinis, Joe DeMarinis and Enzo DeMarinis with Sick Kids patient ambassador Dorothy and her family
Giving back to a great cause
Launched five years ago, DeMarinis told PAX that the initiative to help out Sick Kids is near and dear to TravelBrands, as co-owner Joe DeMarinis is a former child patient of the hospital, where he was treated for a heart condition. As such, the funds raised will go to the hospital’s Labatt Family Heart Centre.
“If we don’t raise that challenge and rise to a higher level, what do we strive for?” he said. “Look at the kids every single day that go through Sick Kids and their parents and what they endure – how can we not strive to do better? That’s not just a challenge for us but also as a community; Sick Kids is not just for the kids in Canada but across the world."
Anne-Marie Newton, director major gifts and priority lead for the Labatt Family Heart Centre at the Sick Kids Foundation, added that such donations are critical as the hospital continues its Vs. fundraising campaign, which aims to raise $1.3 billion to construct a brand-new building; while government funding covers clinical care, staffing and facility costs are up to the hospital, she explained.
“The truth is we have to be ambitious and raise this money because as Frank said, our facilities and resources just don’t match the expertise we have on site,” she said. “Anyone who’s been to Sick Kids knows that our staff are super-human but we don’t have a building that supports their efforts and their level of excellence.”
Golfers could take a break and challenge the mechanical bull on the course
Winners all around
The tournament featured a number of contests on the course for golfers looking to test their skills. This year’s winners include:
- Men’s longest drive: Aldo De Carolis
- Ladies’ closet to pin: Tisha Saunders
- Men’s closest to pin: Joe Adamo
- Closest to the pin hole: Rob Spence
- Ladies longest drive: Rebecca Siddall
- Helicopter Ball Drop: JC Girard
- First place team: Mark Linton, Greg Luciani, Ian Patterson and Richard Hotte