By Vivian Collings
The Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHSF) Foundation’s Matt Duchene Charity Golf Classic was a day of generosity and cheer following a two-year hiatus.
The event was back with 144 participants on Friday, July 22 for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and raised $40,000 to go towards new IV pumps for HHHS hospitals.
NHL player and Haliburton’s own Matt Duchene, who plays for the Nashville Predators hockey team, said it’s been important to help support local hospitals.
“Anytime you can raise money for your local hospital, it’s important. We want to take care of the people in our community. It’s an honour for me to lend my name to this and to have it named after me, it means a lot. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes by so many great volunteers. I’m so grateful to them for the work they do, and it’s just an honour to be here,” he said just before the start.
Executive director of the HHHS Foundation Lisa Tompkins said that new IV pumps are necessary to provide optimal care to patients.
“These IV pumps are priority medical equipment to deliver needs for fluids, medication, blood, and blood products. The new “smart” equipment for HHHS will integrate with the new Clinical Information System implemented by HHHS in December of 2021,” Tompkins said.
President and CEO of Haliburton Highlands Health Services Carolyn Plummer was thankful that the foundation was able to host the event following COVID-19 health measures.
“It’s great to see everyone again. It’s been a rough couple of years, and it’s nice to see everybody back in action. It’s nice to see the foundation having the opportunity to do what they do best. We have a beautiful day, so we’re really, really happy about that,” she said.
The event was held at the Blairhampton Golf Club for the first time.
Featured events of the day included a putting contest sponsored by new dealership, Haliburton Chrysler, a silent auction, barbecue lunch, a 50/50 draw, and special contests at specific holes on the course like the Minden Subaru Hole in One opportunity and a Hole in Two Wins contest with member of Team Canada Long Drive, Ken Long, driving balls 400 yards for any team that made a qualifying donation.
Duchene said he’s been part of this fundraising golf event for the better part of his time in the NHL.
The NHL centre had been living in the United States throughout the pandemic and said that it was difficult to see the lack of community events happening in Haliburton County.
“It was really tough to be living normally in the States for the past two years and then coming up here and seeing everyone not being able to do things like this, because I know how much this tournament and other events mean to this community. It’s so great that we’ve gotten that out of the way and now we can get back to having some fun and raising some money for a great cause at the same time.”
Over the past 21 years, the tournament has been able to raise almost $1 million for hospitals and health care facilities in Haliburton County.