By Kevin J. Sabo
For Ponoka News
A pair of local charities are getting a much-needed financial boost, thanks to the Ponoka Golf Club.
The Ponoka Golf Club’s board of directors Charity Par 3 Extravaganza, held on Aug. 20, benefited the Ponoka Arts, Recreation, and Cultural Society (PARCS) and the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse Society, as well as the golf course as a non-profit organization.
“(The tournament) went very well, from the feedback we have so far,” said Greg Rowland, one of the tournament directors.
“It seems like everyone enjoyed themselves. We had a great response from the business community.”
Originally scheduled for June, the planning of the tournament began in November, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions that were still in place in June, the decision was made to move the tournament to the latter half of August, ensuring that the tournament could still be held in 2021.
“(It was the) biggest tournament this year at this course,” said Rowland.
The sell-out tournament hosted 192 golfers, which was put on by an army of 50 to 60 volunteers. Golfers participating in the tournament had the option of eating on the course at one of several stations set up, followed by a meal afterward catered by Evolution Catering.
The goal for the tournament, according to Rowland, was to “raise money for the local charities and the golf course.”
The charities chosen, PARCS and the Ponoka Rising Sun Club, were chosen as the inaugural charities for the event due to the support both receive from the community.
“We picked the (charities) that the town and county supported,” said Rowland.
“We picked the ones that are … a broad spectrum across the community.”
In total, the event raised $50,000 for the golf club, helping to pay down its debt, with the two charities receiving $15,000 split between them.
“I think we did fairly well for the first year,” said Rowland.
According to Rowland, the local community support for the tournament was very high, with the event selling out in 10 days and with local businesses donating a variety of items for the silent auction held in conjunction with the event.
On the links, seven of the 18-holes were insured by sponsors, with Chase Staldeker making a hole-in-one on the fifteenth hole, which was sponsored by Ponoka Chrysler. With the hole-in-one, he won $25,000 towards the purchase of a new vehicle at the Chrysler dealership.
At the end of the tournament was a million-dollar-shootout, where several competitors each tried for a hole-in-one to win $1 million, though no one claimed that prize.