DeBeers Charity Classic had golfers shooting for diamonds

They would say it’s strictly a fundraising tournament, but somewhere in there, organizers are pushing the idea that it was a fun-raising tournament.
Silly puns aside, one of the many enjoyable golf tournaments that will be taking place was held at the Hay River Golf Course, but this was a tournament with other things in mind.
This is the fourth year for the DeBeers Annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament, its aim every year to raise money for local causes.


This year’s cause, carried on from last year, was the Hay River Hospital Foundation’s “Stand Up, Sit Down, Look All Around” campaign’s efforts to bring much needed new medical equipment to the hospital.
“We’ll be using the money raised today to purchase equipment not covered by capital funds,” said Hospital Foundation chairperson, Heather Coakwell.
The foundation will be purchasing a stand-up weigh scale, an ultrasound stretcher bed, a glide scope scanner, a bladder scanner, and easier to clean chairs to be used by long-term patients.
“This campaign is meant for everyone,” said Coakwell.
“It’s affecting the whole population, from long-term care patients to people of different age groups. With this tournament, we’ll have reached our fundraising goal.”
Last year, the tournament raised $33,000 for the Hospital Foundation for a new treatment room.
A line-up of 18 teams was sponsored by business partners in town and across the North to play an 18-hole best-ball scramble on July 9, and organizers were able to collect $50,919 in proceeds for the HRHF. About $3,100 of this will be put towards the Hay River Golf Club’s junior golf program.
The Kingland golf group won the tournament for the second straight year in a row, shooting a score of 61.
The team of four representing the Det’on Cho Corporation came in second with a 67.
But none can forget the award bestowed upon the “Most Honest Team,” given, respectfully and truthfully, to the McCaw North Drilling and Blasting team who shot a 94.
The tournament also included a “horse race event” at the Hay River Golf Club on Friday night, a “Charity Classic Mini-putt,” event held for DeBeers employees at the Snap Lake Mine, and a live and silent auction.
And of course there was the Snap Lake Diamond Shoot-out, where players can pay $20 a pop for their chance to shoot for a diamond of its mine’s namesake.
Last year’s winner Robert Bouchard posed a bit of a threat to any hopefuls this year.
“Last year’s winner is here, and he’s golfing amazingly,” said event organizer Terry Kruger.
But he was apparently no match for this year’s winner, Mark Harris of Hay River.
He won the diamond valued at $5,200.
“It’s a good fundraiser,” said Cathie Bolstad, director of External and Corporate Affairs for DeBeers.
“What we’re doing today, we’ll see that used over the years.”