For some, playing golf in September is better than it is in April, especially if you’re a member of the Calgary Flames.
A round in April usually indicates the end of the hockey season, but if you’re hitting the green in September, that typically means you’re participating in one of the organization’s largest fundraising events: the Calgary Flames Celebrity Charity Golf Classic.
“The players really enjoy it,” said Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy. “I knew we were going to China this year and they were like, ‘Are we still going to be able to play in the golf tournament?’ and we were like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do it earlier.’
“It’s just such a good event to come to and I think that it speaks volumes to what the (Calgary Flames) Foundation does and what the Flames do for the foundation,” said left-winger Matthew Tkachuk, who is entering his third year with the team. “Getting everybody out here is just such a fun event, it’s something we all love doing.”
Even head coach Bill Peters, who is new to Calgary, was aware of the event’s impact in the city.
“You talk to everyone who’s played it in the past and what the Flames and the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Group does in the community is just top notch and so this is just another example of it,” Peters said. “It’s just not the organization, it’s the people who support it. It’s all the people in southern Alberta that know that it’s going to benefit the rest of the province.”
Over 400 duffers joined players, personnel and alumni at two different courses to help raise money for the Calgary Flames Foundation which supports and provides funds to more than 70 charitable groups throughout southern Alberta.
“Every year, you know, we distribute $3 million to the community,” explained Candice Goudie of the Calgary Flames Foundation.
“So that’s directed into a variety of programs and to a variety of different groups so this event today is a massive part of that. This is one of our two huge fundraisers and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do in the community without it.”
Last year the event raised more than $350,000.
“This is all in the name of giving back and it starts with our ownership group and they make that very clear in terms of the DNA of this organization is to give back to the community,” said Flames general manager Brad Treliving.
“When you become a Calgary Flame, it’s always been instilled from ownership that hey, we give back here,” Conroy added.
New this year, the foundation has partnered with Kids Cancer Care to run the Flames Peer Program, which Goudie says will see the members work with children who have had aggressive cancer treatments to encourage exercise and physical rehabilitation.