Kinsmen and Oilers Foundation dig deep for charity

Almost half a million dollars was donated to the Love of Children Golf Classic on Thursday.

Almost half a million dollars was donated to the Love of Children Golf Classic on Thursday.

The Kinsmen Club of Red Deer contributed $340,000 to the charity golf tournament that takes place Sunday and Monday in Red Deer. The tournament raises money for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, which in turn uses the funds to improve the quality of care for children at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre with equipment purchases and facility enhancements.

“You know, going back in time when we started this whole process and having the event, I couldn’t imagine a day like this, when someone gives you $340,000. That exceeds what we would have probably made in the first couple of years,” said Dr. Brian Isaac, radiologist at the hospital and co-chair of the Love of Children Golf Classic committee.

The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation added $140,000 with a hockey puck-shaped giant cheque, and two Oilers ­— defenceman Tom Gilbert and assistant-coach Kelly Buchberger — will be hitting the links on Monday at Red Deer Golf and Country Club.

“We intend to be here now and for many years to come,” said Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge.

Over the past four years, the Love of Children Golf Classic has raised more than $700,000 for children’s health care, said co-chair Joan Donald.

The money raised this year will further the renovation of the pediatric ward’s central children’s play area and the teen lounge, said Isaac. A telehealth area will be developed for consultations between physicians and families that live outside of Red Deer, and renovations will likely move forward on rooms where families can stay near their sick kids.

“So the scope of it is really quite enormous. The benefit in a smaller community is that your money can go a little further than if you were in a big institution in Calgary or Edmonton,” said Isaac.

The golf tournament is sold out.