TOTA golf tournament in Oliver to benefit many

TOTA golf tournament in Oliver to benefit many

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Able bodied Dale Sivucha from Kelowna tries the Paragolfer to see what it feels like during today's TOTA golf tournament at Fairview Mountain. At right is Sonja Gaudet, TOTA's regional accessibility specialist. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)
Golfers and their carts line up at Fairview Mountain for TOTA’s golf tournament today. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)

A special golf tournament today at Fairview Mountain will benefit many people, including the family of a 7-month-old boy who is fighting a rare type of cancer.

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) organized the tournament, which will benefit students by raising money for college scholarships and bursaries. In addition, it will put money into the coffers of the Okanagan Food Bank.

TOTA Director of Marketing Ingrid Dilschneider said a portion of the registration is going to help Board Chair Frank Antoine, whose baby son is fighting a rare type of cancer. The child is currently undergoing treatment at BC Children’s Hospital. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.

The tournament saw the use of a Paragolfer, a machine (special golf cart) that helps people with disabilities play the game. People who can’t use their legs sit in the cart, which automatically raises them up into a position so they can hit the ball.

Sonja Gaudet, regional accessibility specialist for TOTA, said they are promoting accessibility in tourism, noting the Paragolfer is a tool available at most golf courses.

Dilschneider said TOTA is Biosphere Certified, which means they are mandated to abide by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as set out by the United Nations.

“Each hole on the course is designated as an SDG to educate our golfers and sponsors,” she said.

Graham Filek from Penticton tries golfing with one arm to get a sense of what it feels like to be disabled. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)

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