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Shaw Charity Classic donates $100K to Calgary charities during COVID-19 pandemic

Shaw Charity Classic donates $100K to local charities during COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH: The future of golf tournaments across North America is uncertain as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on. But as Cami Kepke reports, the Shaw Charity Classic has found a way to make a difference right now in Calgary.

It’s finally spring at Alberta golf courses.

Shaw Charity Classic organizers were expecting to be making player announcements this time of year, but now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is stepping up to the tee box in a different way.

READ MORE: 2019 Shaw Charity Classic raises $14M for youth-based Alberta charities

The SCC is donating a total of $100,000 to four local charities that are seeing a spike in demand because of the novel coronavirus.

“We’re a little unique in the fact that we’re able to help regardless,” executive director Sean Van Kersteren said.

The Calgary Food Bank and the Mustard Seed will each receive $40,000, while Inn From the Cold and Meals on Wheels will each be given $10,000.

The food bank alone is seeing a 20 per cent jump in requests for help and says its share of the donation is enough to feed 700 people.

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“Seven-hundred people for a good week is an amazing amount,” spokesperson Shawna Ogston said.

“It means someone can take that stress of ‘How am I going to put food on the table?’ away for a week. It’s amazing what it will do for someone’s resiliency.”

The Mustard Seed said the money will go towards keeping staff and the people they help safe.

“With the pandemic, we have a lot of costs we just didn’t anticipate at the beginning of this year,” corporate development officer Jordan Hamilton said. “Right now, we’re spending an additional $110,000 to $115,000 every single month on cleaning supplies [and] protective equipment. This donation came at the greatest time.”

The SCC has raised more than $48 million for Alberta charities since it started almost eight years ago, pitching in when Calgary was in the midst of a different crisis.

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“It really stems from the very beginning when we started, back in 2013 with the flood,” Van Kersteren added. “Our ownership group, Shaw Communications, said, ‘Hey, we haven’t got an event going yet, but let’s help as many people as we can.'”

As it stands, organizers hope the SCC will take place as scheduled from Aug. 24 to Aug. 30.

READ MORE: Wes Short Jr. birdies final hole to win Calgary’s Shaw Charity Classic

Regardless of whether the pros play or not, the tournament will still raise thousands of dollars for 215 Alberta children’s charities through the Birdies for Kids program.