Big Lakes plans golf charity for August

About 105 golfers participated in the sixth annual Big Lakes County Charity Golf Tournament in 2019. Andrew Gauchier, right, sets to drive the ball. Standing behind, left-right, are Arnold Gauchier Sr., Andy Gau- chier, Chase Milligan, Wade Evans and Arnold Gauchier.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The eight annual Big Lakes County Invitational Charity Golf Tournament returns in August.

At its regular meeting June 26, council supported plans for the event after restrictions in the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted July 1 in Alberta.

The fundraiser is set for Aug. 26 at the High Prairie and District Golf Course, says Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.

“It looks like we can have a slightly larger tournament than last year, but still recommending we keep it to a maximum 50 golfers due to the number of carts the golf course has,” Hawken says.

Additional rental carts increase costs dramatically, he says, as the County would have to order more carts from outside companies and other golf courses.

The tournament is co-hosted by the Town of High Prairie and the Town of Swan Hills.

Council also approved a recommendation from Hawken to support a budget overage of $5,000 for the 2021 event.

“The reason administration is asking for a budget overage is because we cannot use the Big Lakes County golf account because it is specifically for charity events and audited separately for that specific purpose,” Hawken says.

The overage concerned Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard.

“Something that has been a fundraiser has now become an expense?” Nygaard asked.

“Yes, the last two years,” replies High Prairie East – Banana Belt Councillor Don Charrois, who co-ordinates the event.

He agrees with Nygaard’s concern.

“We just don’t need it to be an expense,” Charrois says.

“We need to keep it under control.”

Organizers plan to invite local entities, partnerships and companies that directly work with the County.

Municipalities and businesses will also be invited to sponsor holes, games or themes.

Other plans will be finalized in the coming weeks.

Proceeds were donated from the 2019 charity golf tournament to four deserving health charities:

  • -High Prairie and District Health Foundation – $8,045.40.
  • -Swan Hills Health Foundation – $4,165.20.
  • -Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton – $5,000.
  • -Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation – $5,000.

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