Juno and Canadian Country Music Association winning musicians are gathering in central Alberta on Aug. 7 and 8 in support of the sixth annual Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic.
Since 2008, Bamford has generated more than $1 million through The Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation (GBCF) to support organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as a numerous children’s hospitals across Canada.
It started six years ago with a simple vision: as Bamford’s celebrity began to grow, he wanted to use it in a way that would make a profound difference in the lives of underprivileged youth and single parent families across Canada. As a result, the Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation was born.
“The foundation and the annual celebrity golf event have evolved into so much more than I ever expected. I wanted to give back to my community, and to see my fellow musicians support the event year after year is humbling,” says Bamford. “The goal of my foundation has always come down to making a difference in someone’s life, whether it means taking their mind off their pain for a day or simply putting a smile on their face.”
The annual charity golf classic is the vehicle Bamford uses to generate the funds possible for that foundation. Each year, top Canadian musicians perform at the pre-golf gala event, and then are auctioned off to the highest bidder for a place on their golf team.
This year Bamford has gathered some of the brightest stars in Canadian music: JD Fortune (formerly with INXS), Dallas Smith, Deric Ruttan, Emerson Drive’s Brad Mates, Aaron Pritchett, Michelle Wright, Beverly Mahood, and Patricia Conroy, as well as American singer/songwriters Buddy Owens and Justin McBride.
Canadian Country Music Association award-winning artist Aaron Pritchett has been involved since its inception. “It’s very important for me to support the GBCF because I have been fortunate in my career and want to give back in any way I possibly can.
“So, giving back to those whom need it most is extremely important. I feel compelled to give back in every possible way I can and Gord, with his golf tournament, gives me a chance to do that, to support an area that I don’t live in,” explains Pritchett.
“I keep coming back, year after year, because the event is one that’s a day of fun golf, an evening of great music, meeting people and making new friends. But, most importantly, the amount of money and awareness the event brings to the benefactors is incredible,” says Pritchett. “I’ll keep coming back as long as I’m asked!”
“I’m always scared to put a goal out there,” says Bamford. But hopefully we can surpass the amount from the year before and hit the $300,000 mark. That would be really nice.”
The 2013 event officially kicks off with the Celebrity gala, starting at 4:30 p.m., Aug. 7, at the Red Deer Sheraton Hotel Exhibition Hall. The gala features performances by Bamford and the celebrity guests, a live celebrity auction. The Charity Golf Classic begins at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club at 8 a.m. Aug. 8.