Bamford breaks $1 million with golf fundraiser

It was a star-studded couple of days at the fifth annual Gord Bamford Charity Classic Golf Tournament July 31 and Aug. 1.

Country star Gord Bamford tees off at the 5th annual Gord Bamford Golf Classic fundraiser Aug. 1. The sold out event brought musicians

Country star Gord Bamford tees off at the 5th annual Gord Bamford Golf Classic fundraiser Aug. 1. The sold out event brought musicians

It was a star-studded couple of days at the fifth annual Gord Bamford Charity Classic Golf Tournament July 31 and Aug. 1. Not only did Bamford show off his golf swing for the fundraiser but other country musicians and some NHL players attended to show their support for the event.

The demand for tickets to play with other celebrities at the Lacombe and Country Golf Club is high as they sold out in under 24 hours, explained Bamford. “The whole concept was to give back.”

His hope for this year was to “break the million-dollar threshold.”

And they did just that, the auction and performance on July 31 raised more than $270,000, which put the five-year fundraising earnings to more than $1 million.

The event kicked-off with performances by country stars such as Aaron Pritchett and Buddy Owens. A live auction followed with autographed guitars by Nickelback and Gord Bamford being sold, as well as hockey tickets and memorabilia. The celebrities were then auctioned off to golf with winning bidders.

Pritchett said it was fairly intimidating to be sold at the auction but he was relieved when he sold for $3,500. He has attended the fundraiser since its inception and feels country music is one of the links that brings everyone together for the fundraiser.

“We’re ultimately here to have fun, we’re here to raise money and just visit with the people here,” he explained.

Owens, who co-wrote Bamford’s new single Leaning on a Lonesome Song, admitted he had not golfed in 14 years but was there to support the cause and was invited by Bamford to join the other fundraisers.

The tournament also brought PennWest Exploration as the title sponsor this year; Michelle McQuade, manager of regulatory and public affairs, said the company has supported the tournament ever since it started. “It’s a great organization.”

She feels it is important for the company to give back to the community. “The philosophy has been there from day 1.”

Proceeds from the tournament go toward the Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation, which has donated money to the Make a Wish Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House Charities, 4-H and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe.

Radio personality and country singer, Tera Lee, was excited to see the growth in the fundraiser. She is a personal friend of Bamford and has participated since it began five years ago. “Gord and I are friends, when friends ask you to help out you do it.”

NHL hockey player Kris Russell for the St. Louis Blues has attended for the last several years. He enjoyed seeing performances from the musicians, but was there for one purpose.

“Anytime you can help and give back is a good thing,” he said.

The Texas scramble tournament had golfers beginning at a specific hole with different challenges along the way.

For Bamford, he felt proud the tournament has been able to raise the funds it has and the support from everyone involved.