In the spring of 2013 when fellow Rotarian John Klassen asked me to be the official photographer of Community Living Belleville’s first GOLF tournament, I searched and searched my day planner hoping for an acceptable reason to decline. Wasn’t there an important meeting to attend? or maybe a root canal? I’d rather have surgery with a twisted stick in the desert than spend my day on a golf course. To my dismay I couldn’t find a valid excuse. I felt compelled to accept. I heard myself saying yes.
By the end of the event, I wasn’t any more impressed with golf than I had at the beginning of the day. However I had such a fabulous time at the WHO’S YOUR CADDY Golf Tournament…did I say tournament? I meant Ladies Social..no no..no….I mean PARTY…PARTY… PARTY! that I actually volunteered to photograph future events!
This super-successful party is organized by Community Living Belleville’s Executive Director John Klassen and his Executive Assistant Patti Gillman and Quinte Radio Station Mix 97’s Jody & Lorne Brooker. I was thrilled to have played a very small part in the first annual event that raised $16,000! (WOW) just because 16 groups of 4 female golfers played hooky from their jobs to “rent” a local celebrity to be their personal golf caddy for the day!
At this year’s whoop-up Gowan was our feature celebrity guest golfer. The event raised nearly $20,000! and, as with previous years, these funds will benefit people with intellectual disabilities by helping to provide value to their lives. Value means living in their own home and being an important part of a welcoming community, as well as being rewarded with friendships and making a meaningful contribution to society through work and volunteerism.
People with intellectual disabilities are people and, like everyone else, want and need the same things: friendship, respect, love and affection!