Golf pros around B.C. are hitting the links — again and again and again — in support of the ALS Society of BC, Thursday, June 29.
Out at St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort, local pros Cindy Soukoroff & Chris Medford will be setting out at dawn and finishing up at dusk, aiming to golf as many as 200 holes, as part of the 12th Annual PGA of B.C. Golfathon for ALS.
“We have 113 golfers this year at 36 different courses,” said Wendy Toyer, Executive Director of the ALS Society of BC. “It’s a huge fundraiser for us. We’re hoping this year we’ll break the $1.5 million mark since it started 12 years ago.”
Toyer said the golf pros will be golfing upwards of 150-200 holes in one day, and most of them are shooting under par.
“When you think of them golfing that many holes in a day, they’re golfing four times the speed of regular golf,” Toyer said. “If you’re on the course that day, you may see the pro whose doing the golf-a-thon come through your foursome four times. They’re requesting playthrough privileges, right? They just go like crazy!”
“It also creates a tremendous amount of awareness because it is such a spectacle. It’s quite phenomenal to watch. I know last year Cindy had her golf cart decorated up and in the sand trap she had taken the rake and written ALS in the sand.”
You can pledge support to Soukoroff and Medford, and help out the ALS Society of BC in a number of ways. Each course has their various ways of fundraising, Toyer said. People will sometimes go pledge how many birdies their going to make, or sometimes they’ll pledge on the score of a round. The golfers take pledges at the course, but you can also go online at golfathonforals.com (or click right here) and each course has its own fundraising page with a thermometer on it. People can pledge right online to show their support for the golf pro, and they get an immediate electronic tax receipt.
Public support is encouraged, Toyer said.
“You can imagine after golfing for eight hours straight, it’s kind of nice to have someone out there to pat you on the back.
“And what warms my heart is when I go to the golf courses after, in July, when I’m on my road trip around B.C., every year they always promise they’ll come back. So it just gets growing and getting bigger and bigger. It started 12 years ago with just one golf pro.”
Since the inception of the golf-a-thon, in 2005, these golfers have golfed three quarters of the way around the earth — at the equator, Toyer said.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS ), also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects the person’s motor neurons that carry messages to the muscles resulting in weakness and wasting in arms, legs, mouth, throat and elsewhere. ALS shares characteristics with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. These are disorders of the aging Nervous System, with a peak onset at about 60 years of age. However, young-onset of ALS is not rare. Typically the person is immobilized within two to five years of the initial diagnosis.
ALS affects about two in 100,000 people, but at any given time there are about 4,000 people living with ALS in Canada.