Scott Fraser started the Golf A Thon for ALS in 2005

Scott Fraser started the Golf A Thon for ALS in 2005

Golf A Thon for ALS tops $1 million in fundraising

Former Glacier Greens Golf Course head pro Scott Fraser began event in 2005

In 2005, Glacier Greens Golf Course pro Scott Fraser had a stroke of genius. Nine years later, his brainchild has chipped in more than $1 million for the fight against ALS.

Fraser, now a Realtor with Royal LePage, came up with the idea of a golfathon to raise money for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), for which there is presently no cure.

He recalls it started when two of his employees at Glacier Greens (Bruce Taylor and Terry Donaldson) were struck with the disease and eventually forced to quit their jobs because of it. “(Bruce) wanted to put a change box on the counter for fundraising. I sat down with him and said, ‘Why don’t we do something a little more creative?'”

Fraser held a day-long golfing marathon, playing 288 holes and raising almost $8,000. “Local Rotarians Gerry Feniak and John Challander were both amazing to deal with,” said Fraser of the service club’s support of the inaugural effort.

Fraser was on the PGA of BC board of directors and took the idea to them, and the PGA of BC Golf A Thon for ALS was born. “(The PGA of BC) encouraged their members to participate in the annual Golf A Thon held during June, ALS Awareness month,” said Wendy Toyer, executive director of the ALS Society of BC.

“Since that day over 180,044 holes have been played by over 100 PGA of BC professionals at courses throughout B.C., and over $1,022,000 has been raised to support patient services programs  provided by the ALS Society of BC,” Toyer added.

“Wendy’s real good to work with. They jumped on board and gave us a lot of support, and now we’ve got Global Television involved. (Steve Darling is an ambassador),” Fraser said.

“It’s been neat seeing the Golf A Thon progress along. It’s starting to make its way across Canada now. There’s four provinces that have PGA involvement with ALS. Ideally, we’d like to see it coast to coast. My guess is by the end of this decade we’ll see that. I hope it will be a race between getting it coast to coast or a cure,” Fraser said.

“We’re starting to hear now that they’re putting some drugs to trial. My goal’s always been to cancel it, just get a cure. There’s no survivors from ALS, it’s a crappy disease.

“It would be nice to see some of this has really made a difference for people. The people that really got us started on (the Golf A Thon) are gone, and a lot of the people that are diagnosed with it today will probably not see the fruits of this, but some day there will be somebody.”

Fraser has participated in five sunrise-to-sunset Golf A Thons, the last two years ago. “The young bucks are doing it now. The year I did 301 holes (2007) I had fluid on my ankles and my knees for six weeks. The young guys are doing it now. It’s kind of neat to see,” he added

“It’s nice to see the Valley still supports it,” said Fraser, noting the event is held at both Glacier Greens and Crown Isle. “Pretty much every club that’s signed on to it, none of them have left. It’s been great to see the support and neat to see it grow and hit $1 million.”

When he started the fundraiser Fraser did not envision it hitting seven figures. “I just wanted to see it gain some traction. I figured if we could get to $150,000 or $200,000 …

“As the years went on it just got bigger and bigger. It was pretty apparent to us two or three years ago we were headed for this kind of total. I’m proud of it. It’s gained its own momentum and I don’t think you’ll ever see it do anything but move forward, unless there’s a cure.”

ALS kills two to three Canadians every day, and it’s never far from home. Don McCusker of the Vancouver Golf Club had been participating in the Golf A Thon and was subsequently diagnosed with ALS. “There’s a local connection: his dad lives here at Crown Isle,” Fraser said.

 

He adds the best way to support the PGA of BC Golf A Thon for ALS is by going to golfathonforals.ca. There is a list of golfers and courses and you can pledge at any time of the year.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

School District 71’s final budget for this school year showed more revenue from distance learning students but less from traditional classroom registration. Record file photo
Comox Valley Schools’ budget grant almost $5.5 million higher than planned

Increase came from a boost in distributed learning rather traditional registration

A&W on Ryan Road confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at their restaurant and temporarily shut its doors. Google Maps photo
Courtenay restaurant temporarily closed due to COVID-19 exposure

It’s the latest business in the Valley to be affected by the virus

The CSRHD board moved closer to passing a budget with a $4.4 million cut to the tax requisition. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona hospital district moves on budget with tax cut

At $12.6 million, budget requisition represents drop of $4.4 million for current year

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read