Upcoming Shriners charity golf tournament helping children across Canada as well as in Sioux Lookout
Tim Brody - Editor
On June 15, the Sioux Lookout Shrine Club will host a charity golf tournament at the Sioux Lookout Golf and Curling Club to help raise funds for Big Wheels Keep on Turning.
When golfers participate in the two-person best ball tournament, they will be helping children and youth attending The Shriners Hospital for Children – Canada in Montreal, including a young girl from Sioux Lookout.
Sierra Hartnett, the mother of a Shriner's child in Sioux Lookout that attends The Shriners Hospital for Children – Canada, recently spoke with Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout members about her daughter Avery’s visit to the hospital and the impact it had on her family.
“In the summer of 2018, our friends BJ (a Sioux Lookout Shrine Club member) and Kelli Egerter knew what we were going through. They told us about the Shriners Children’s Hospital and asked if we would let them put her name forward. We were thrilled at the opportunity to have a second opinion. We have been living with our beautiful daughter suffering from chronic pain for six years, chronic pain that no one should have to endure, let alone a child, so this chance to have a new set of doctors look at her case gave us hope.
“On December 10, 2018 we made our first trip to Montreal. I can honestly say that the process right from the first email from Don Thompson in Winnipeg to our flight home was seamless. The consideration and thoughtfulness that went into the arrangements was next level care. When we arrived at the Montreal airport we had the kindest man waiting to pick us up who drove us to the hotel, and gave us a little tour of Montreal. Right away we were made to feel like we had family in Montreal. When we arrived at the hospital my daughter was treated like a VIP guest. I no longer felt like Avery was just a number. I knew that this team really wanted to help her. The nurses treated us like friends and the doctors explained everything thoroughly, taking their time to ensure that we understood everything, nothing was rushed. I have not experienced that type of personalized care in a large city hospital setting until being there.”
Hartnett further shared, “I realized there were gaps in my daughters care thus far. Shriners referred her to a Pediatric Chronic pain clinic for management as well as to a number of different specialists on site. Although they weren't on the appointment lists for the day, we were squeezed in to ensure they didn't miss anything while we were there. We left with a plan to return to the next clinic in late spring. The plan was to return in spring and to have continued care to be combined with Winnipeg because they are closer to deal with any acute concerns that may arise.
“There was a progression of Avery's condition in March 2019. After eight weeks of care through Winnipeg that did not seem to be improving, I called Montreal. They were very upset by this and have scheduled her to come in to the clinic in a couple weeks.
“I couldn’t be more thankful that I can say that I have such kind friends who truly care about my daughter and my family. I have never felt more at home in a community then I do here knowing that I have this support. I would like to thank BJ and Kelli Egerter for leading us to a hospital that offers world class care for my daughter, and also to everyone who supports and continues to take their personal time to fundraise and support families like mine who are struggling to navigate through a medical system that is overloaded and was unable to support us as seamlessly the way the Shiners has.”
Rotarian Tara Drew commented after learning more about Shriners, The Shriners Hospital for Children – Canada, and Harnett’s story, “It’s opened my eyes in a number of ways. Rotary is an amazing organization that works around the world and so does the Shrine. It’s quite amazing. They’re very focused on helping children.”
According to Shriners International, “Shriners Hospitals for Children was founded in 1922 with the goal of providing expert medical care for children with no financial burden to the patients or their families.
Today that philanthropic effort supports the health care system's 22 facilities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, treating children up to 18 years of age who have orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip and palate, and more. Our advanced care is provided in a family-centered environment that is focused on maximizing a child’s quality of life, regardless of the families' ability to pay.”
Drew shared that Big Wheels Keep on Turning is a charity that the Khartum Shrine (of which Sioux Lookout is a member) supports.
“Each year the Potentate's First Lady chooses a charity for which to fundraise. This year the charity is Big Wheels. Each chair that wheels a child to and from their appointments in the Montreal Hospital costs $5000 and Big Wheels Keep on Turning fundraises for and purchases the Wheelchairs. As we now have a Sioux Lookout Shrine Child, this charity hits even closer to home. The ladies of the Sioux Lookout Shrine Club have taken up this torch and our goal is to raise $10,000 for two chairs through our golf tournament on June 15, 2019. Of course, the Shriners of Sioux Lookout will be helping their partners in this endeavour,” she said.
There will be shotgun start for the June 15 charity golf tournament starting at 12 pm. The tournament is limited to 48 golfers. The cost is $150/player and includes lunch on the course, 18 holes of golf, steak dinner at the Legion at 6pm, and a $50 charitable tax receipt.
Drew added, “We have great sponsors for two trucks, one Ford and one GM, for Holes in One, sponsored by our local dealerships, Dingwall and Madsen's, along with Investors Group and Drew Osteopathy. We also have a Hole in One sponsor for a year's worth of groceries from Fresh Market Foods.”
She concluded, “The tournament is all about fun and raising money for the chairs. There are some great prizes and live/silent auction items. The tournament ends with a steak fry dinner at the Legion that is open to the public. Cost is $25 at the door. There will be other fundraising games at the Legion, so please, even if you are not a golfer, come out and support the Legion and Keep those Big Wheels Turning!”
To register for the tournament call Tara Drew at 647-971-3362 or email [email protected]