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Relatively speaking, inclement weather is a minor inconvenience

The weather forecast wasn’t great. The cause, however, definitely was.

And if any of the 28 golfers who assembled for the sixth annual Golf Marathon Sudbury has any misgivings about a day in which they were likely to endure two or three complete changes of clothing as they battled their way through 50 holes of golf or more (some are planning to hit the century mark), well, Mike Carre would be more than happy to provide some healthy perspective.

“A little bit of rain, in the grand scheme of things, as far as what we are trying to do here, it really pales in comparison to the cause,” noted the lawyer with Weaver-Simmons. Carre speaks with far more personal knowledge than most, his son Carter, now nine, having been diagnosed with leukemia a few years back - but having recently rang the bell at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital.

“Through that process, we came to fully understand what the NOFCC (Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer) are all about,” said Carre. “Having to travel to Toronto for much of our little guy’s treatment made us realize that we should probably have something closer to home.”

“The minute that Carter had an opportunity to come home to Sudbury for a month or so, we found that he really turned things around, just in terms of his determination to overcome what he was going through. Sudbury is a place of comfort, a chance to see family, to see friends. We found that he really, really developed a strong desire to overcome it when he was home.”

“That’s what we are trying to do here, to acquire equipment that might allow families to undergo care and treatment closer to home.”

Well, that, and so much more.

Through the first five years of the Golf Marathon Sudbury, the group had raised just under $200,000. Partnered with the Sudbury Charities Foundation this year, the golfers, who each committed to raising a minimum of $1000 and completing a minimum of 50 holes, teed off this morning knowing that the 2021 total alone had already surpassed $110,000.

“We really weren’t sure how well the event would be received in terms of turning to donours,” noted Carre. “We have been overwhelmed with how well it’s been received.”

For event chairman Jean-Francois Demore, the numbers this summer represent the end result of several years building awareness of the fundraiser which provides support to groups ranging from the NEO Kids Foundation to the Pediatric Wing of the Sudbury Cancer Treatment Centre, from Camp Quality to the afore-mentioned NOFCC.

“We have tried to raise funds for as many local charities as we could, with an emphasis on direct placement infrastructure, to give equipment where it’s really needed,” said Demore, founder of Innova Wealth Partners. “The event has grown in demand, so we’re very fortunate to have a good number of people to draw from.”

“We have a lot of repeat golfers who are pushing themselves to raise more and golf more.”

On this particular day of golf, planning would be key.

“I’ve got a complete wardrobe of extra clothes in the car - I’m good for a week,” laughed Demore. “And my wife prepared all kinds of snacks. I’m just going to keep my swing as compact as I can, keep moving forward and try not to lose too many balls.”

Representing NEO Kids for her second year of golfing, Hailey Short appreciates the previous advice, having learned from 2019. “It truly is a marathon,” she said. “You just have to keep going. Don’t look too long for your ball - just drop another. It really is a fun day for a very rewarding cause.”

“We are so happy and thankful for the support,” Short added. “We always work with the board (of Golf Marathon Sudbury) and try and look at a specific piece of equipment that the event will fund for. Everyone is so passionate about the causes the Golf Marathon is funding.”

A member of the board of the Sudbury Charities Foundation for the past six years, Assistant Crown Attorney Mathieu Ansell is a tournament participant for the third time, thankful that he and his group can play a small part in what has become a highly successful golf gathering.

“Every year, we keep increasing in donations and we’re very grateful for that,” said Ansell. “This year is another record breaking year.”

Though likely far more comfortable on the pitch than the greens and the fairways, this participant in the 2006 OFSAA Soccer Championship as a member of the Macdonald-Cartier Pantheres has perfected his approach to a sport that he enjoys. “You limber up, stay hydrated, and if you have to battle the elements, you battle the elements,” said Ansell.

“Other than that, you just have fun.”

That mentality is just part of the reason why the group has garnered the support of Golf Sudbury, with all green fees donated for the day. “We’ve been working with J-F and his organizing committee for a few years now,” stated Golf Sudbury Marketing and Tournament Coordinator, Mark Vainio. “They go out of their way to use the golf course and their time well to gain resources for the charities.”

“We see how much support they have in the community, the awareness that they are gaining, so we’re very glad to support that.”

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