Thousand, that is.
Ottawa Out Golfing Group put on their second Annual Charity Scramble Golf Tournament Aug 9 at Pakenham Highlands Golf Club, raising just over $4,000 for this year’s charity, Bruce House.
“The membership voted to make Bruce House the charity once again to donate to, with the simple concept in mind to give back to the community that has given so much to us,” says Robert Meagher, coordinator of the group.
The 103 golfers that participated in the tournament helped more than triple last year’s fundraising total.
Meagher says the highlight of the day was the presentation of the Dick Surgeson Cup, a new trophy created in honour of Dick Surgeson, an avid golfer and member of the Ottawa Out Golfing Group, who died last year.
Meagher first decided to start the annual golf tournament a couple of years ago, after he took a trip to Montreal to compete in the Out Games 2006 and represent Ottawa in the golf category.
“While driving home from the three or four days I spent at the Games, I found myself crying so torrentially that I had to pull over,” says Meagher.
“I asked myself why I was reacting this way, and realized that what I had experienced at the Games was real liberation and that, as open as I am about my sexuality back in Ottawa, I still sometimes wear a shield.”
He says he started the golf tournament as a pledge to himself that at least once a year, he would try and create an environment where everyone would be completely comfortable lowering their own personal shields.
“[Out Golfing] is an opportunity for the community to grow and to create an opportunity for liberation.”
With people already coming forward to help with next year’s tournament, and many more events and golf weekends scheduled until the end of the season, Meagher says the group plays a community-building role.
“What’s been truly amazing is the openness and willingness of people to help out and come forward,” says Meagher.
“Something great is being built here, and its been really rewarding to be a part of it, and watch it grow.”