Since 2011, the IBEW Local 303 Community Partners Golf Tournament has been raising funds for great causes in the Niagara region. This summer, the event raised $15,135.00 for the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara (CACN), funds that were presented on Wednesday December 11, 2019.
“I’m extremely proud of the amount that our members and our partners have raised for this very worthy cause,” said Mark Cherney, Business Manager of IBEW Local 303. “We’re one of the smaller locals in Ontario with around 320 active members, but we made it happen with a lot of old fashioned door knocking and word of mouth.”
Cherney emphasized that ECA Niagara contractors and other local businesses made very generous contributions to the campaign.
Susanne McCarroll, Resource Development Coordinator for the Kristen French CACN, spoke on the charity’s behalf. “Thank you to the IBEW membership for considering us. It was a real pleasure to work with you and to learn about the IBEW.
“We are very, very grateful. We have a small staff of 3 full time, one part time, plus 50 wonderful volunteers. The money will help us expand our programs for children and youth, and do even more to help them strengthen their resilience and recover from abuse.”
Dedicated to Healing
A CAC is a community-based program, designed to meet the unique needs of the particular community in which it is located. CACs bring together a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to provide a coordinated and comprehensive response to address the needs of children, youth and their families in cases where abuse is suspected. CACs seek to minimize system-induced trauma and support longer-term well-being by providing a child-friendly facility for young victims and their families to seek services ideally under one roof.
“The Kristen French CACN opened in 2008 as one of five centres in Canada. Now there are over 35 Child Advocacy Centres across the country, as we are fast becoming a best practice model for children and youth” said McCarroll.
A Tradition of Giving
Local 303 has held its annual golf tournament for many years as a way to bring the membership together. In the past decade, however, the tournament has become something even more special.
“Back in 2011, the members of the golf committee asked if we could do more,” said Cherney. “That was when we decided that we would turn the tournament into a fundraiser for charities in the local community.”
There have been many great causes that have been on the receiving end of tournament proceeds, including Habitat for Humanity Niagara, the Niagara Health Foundation, Daval Hospice, Hospice Niagara, and Pathstone Mental Health. The Heartland Forest, which includes wheelchair-accessible nature trails and facilities, has also been a beneficiary.
“We want to try and identify causes in the community that don’t get as much attention as they should,” said Cherney. “We not only wanted to give back, we also wanted to educate our membership on issues facing our friends and neighbours in the Niagara region.”
Cherney and the members of the golf tournament committee have already started plans for the 2020 tournament, to be held on Friday, August 21.
“It will be the 10th anniversary for the tournament as a charitable fundraiser, and we plan to make it bigger and better than ever,” said Cherney.