Start spreading the news: The Michael J. Fox Golf Tournament was another rousing success on June 1.
More than $65,000 was raised for upgrades to the South Burnaby theatre and for Michael J. Fox Theatre scholarships for Burnaby students pursuing study at a post-secondary institution in an arts or arts-related area. In the 13 years the golf tournament has taken place, $675,000 has been raised.
With a full roster of 144 golfers and 340 people for the dinner at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, the event had a big city feel befitting its New York theme.
With Cathay Pacific on as a sponsor, several of the big prizes included Cathay flights to the City That Never Sleeps.
A draw for two business class Cathay Pacific tickets to New York City was very popular, as was the key auction item of four plane tickets to New York, two rooms for two nights at the Roosevelt Hotel, a lunch with Fox and tickets to a premier New York theatre show of your choice. A bid of $7,500 won this trip of a lifetime.
Big donors for the night included Scotiabank donating $15,000 and the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown donating $10,000. Longtime family friend, Burnaby orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Hill, also had a nice surprise at the dinner when he handed over a generous $5,000 donation.
Another big highlight was a birthday cake for Fox's son Sam, who turned 23 on May 30. The birthday celebration was reminiscent of last year's birthday cake, which was presented to Michael for his 50th birthday on June 9, 2011.
The afternoon of golf on Riverway's championship course got the crowd amped for the delicious buffet dinner just up the hill at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown.
Tournament chair Gary Morrey was pleased with how Friday's event went, especially when the weather Gods smiled down on them.
"The weather held out for us," Morrey said. "We were relatively dry and this was a very successful event. Michael had his whole family out and it was really amazing how everybody enjoyed themselves. Everybody had a lot of fun."
Global Television weather personality Wayne Cox took credit for the dry day out on the course and his cohorts, Chris Gailus and Squire Barnes, entertained the crowd during Friday night's dinner.
Another notable event that occurred Friday was Fox showing off the commemorative Canada Post stamp that has just been released to honour Fox's charitable efforts.
"What an honour for Michael," said Morrey. "The stamp honours his work with Parkinson's (awareness)."
Signed Fox stamps were a key auction item, as were some spectacular wines from Mission Hill, trips to Whistler and Victoria, a signed Travis Lulay B.C. Lions jersey and a signed Masters flag from golfer Mike Weir.
Perhaps the two people who travelled the furthest to be at Friday's event were Jack Nadeau and his wife Connie, who came 3,500 kilometres from Sault Ste. Marie. Jack was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2005 and has been a facilitator for a local Sault Ste. Marie Parkinson's group for the past five years.
Golf committee member and director of the theatre, George Kawaguchi, also received a special award for all of his volunteer efforts.