Breast Cancer Action Kingston raises over $37K with charity golf tournament

Share the Care charity golf tournament at Colonnade Golf and Country Club. Image via BCAK.

At the 16th annual Share the Care golf tournament held by Breast Cancer Action Kingston (BCAK), 180 golfers enjoyed a full day at Colonnade Golf and Country Club. Tournament organizers said this is one of the main fundraisers for the organization, and this year they broke their record for most funds raised.

“This year we raised in excess of $37,000 which is pretty impressive considering that we’re in the middle of COVID,” said Wendy Barrette, BCAK board member and member of the golf committee for the past five years.

Breast Cancer Action Kingston was founded to provide resources and support to breast cancer survivors and their family members. They provide access to wellness services such as support groups and fitness classes, alongside resources such as financial aid, wig and prosthetic banks and more.

“A lot of the players in our tournaments are breast cancer patients, or survivors, and family and supporters of current or past patients,” said Barrette. “Every year, about half of our field is made up of those individuals, the rest of the field comes from just people who support us. Some come to our tournament every year and have never known anybody with breast cancer but they like to come out because we have a great time. We dress in pink, and have lots of fun things for them to do. It’s a well-organized, well-run, very reasonable tournament.”

Barrette also mentioned a new addition at this year’s tournament – an ‘In Memory Of’ table. “We encouraged our players who were playing golf for breast cancer patients, survivors, or somebody they’ve lost to breast cancer, to bring pictures. And they did,” she said, mentioning how wonderful it was to see people bringing pictures of moms and grandmas. “That was something that we did that was a little special this year, and we’ll probably do again.”

While this year’s tournament did not include the regular banquet or auction, the organizers said that most of the funds raised this year were in the bank before the tournament even began. “We had so many corporate donors that just gave this year, and it really makes you feel good as a charity to know that you have that kind of support in the community,” Barrette expressed.

This year BCAK also has a record number of members enrolled in their paid membership program. Belonging to the BCAK organization provides non-medical support for breast cancer patients, survivors and their supporters.

“We support our members through education, and through group sessions. For instance, if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you go to your doctor and he says, you have breast cancer and you sit there and you don’t know what to say next, you don’t know what the questions are,” Barrette explained. “Our support groups are in place, we have trained facilitators, and they will walk you through what to expect. They do not give medical advice, but they do give good support – ‘this is what’s going to happen next, these are your options.’”

A financial assistance program is also available through BCAK. Breast cancer patients who need support for items like wigs, lymphedema sleeves, and even wage replacement can apply. “Obviously there’s criteria, but over the past two years we have had a record number of people coming to us for a little bit of financial help,” Barrette said.

The money raised at fundraisers such as the Share the Care golf tournament goes directly toward the BCAK’s support for breast cancer patients, survivors and their families in the Southeastern Ontario cancer region. The next fundraising event is the 28th annual Walk for Awareness, which will be held at Lake Ontario Park on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

Walk for Awareness raises money through pledges or a registration fee of $20 for pledge amounts under $100. Due to COVID, restrictions the format of the day includes a virtual Walk, Run or Ride in your neighbourhood, your backyard or anywhere, any time or any distance, the organizers said. Alternatively, participants can meet BCAK at the Lake Ontario Park Pavilion between 1 and 4 p.m. Safety precautions will be in effect. 

Download the registration/pledge form at www.bcakingston.ca/walk-for-awareness-2021 or call the office 613 531-7912 to register.  Take photos while participating in the Walk for Awareness, and send them to BCAK over email: [email protected].

Learn more about Breast Cancer Action Kingston on their website, and follow their Facebook page for information and updates.

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