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Milestone year for well-loved tournament

May 04, 2018

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

According to Michael N. Anderson Golf Classic Tournament Past Chair – Jim Miller – this age-old adage is the secret to success for Fort Erie’s well-loved Douglas Memorial Site fundraiser.  And he should know: this community event has been going strong now for more than two decades as it celebrates its milestone 25th anniversary this year!

Two years ago, Jim passed over the Chair position of the tournament to his daughter Natalie Miller, Dennis Randall and Scott Maskell. Along with a core group of event day volunteers, some of whom have been with the tournament since the first year, organizers have stuck to the tried-and-true formula of providing an outstanding meal and hefty package-of-perks to go along with a great day of golf at Bridgewater Country Club.  The tournament has become so well-known as a guaranteed great outing that the $200/person entrance fee never stops the event from selling out year after year.
 
Jim explains that when starting out the September event, it was unusual to hold a golf tournament after Labour Day, making the Douglas Memorial tourney a ‘last hurrah’ for the golf season.  The name was changed 15 years ago to honour Michael (Mike) Anderson, who was a respected Fort Erie resident who served as a Town Councillor, a Kinsman, and an active player in the hockey community.  When he was killed in a plane crash, tournament organizers felt that his legacy of community service and devotion to the Town would be appropriate to link to their event.

To date, the Golf Classic has brought in more than $775,000 in proceeds, and funded tangible patient care enhancements at Douglas Memorial Hospital.  These funds have purchased priority patient care equipment including: medical carts, patient beds, bariatric beds, slit lamp (for eye examinations), vein finder and more.  

Of course, another important success factor for golf tournaments that cannot be ignored is weather.  In 24 years, Jim reports, there has been only one year the tournament was shortened to nine holes, and only one ‘rain-out’ which occurred back in the early years of the event.  Ironically, the tournament that was rained out featured umbrellas in the players’ loot bags, making it an ongoing joke and superstition to this day.  No umbrellas have beengiven out since and, so-far, so-good!

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