While the Sunrise Rotary Club 2012 Golf Tournament boasts a slew of familiar faces from Cornwall and even some NHL celebrities, it’s the unseen faces who benefit most from the event.
This year’s edition of the popular spring golf tournament, held at the Cornwall Golf and Country Club, featured the likes of former NHL stars Yvon Lambert and Rejean Houle of the Montreal Canadiens as well as Rick Vaive and Gary Leeman of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The hope, according to Sunrise Rotary golf committee chair Wayne Lawrence, is that bringing in hockey celebrities will also translate into an infusion of more fundraising dollars for the tournament.
Rotary has partnered with the local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to kickstart a program that will address teenage suicide rates in Cornwall and area – which has some of the highest numbers in the province.
“I felt it had to be addressed at a younger age,” said Lawrence.
So, the plan is to begin this fall by bringing in a pair of councillors to talk about depression and suicide with Grade 7 and 8 students in Cornwall area schools.
“We felt this was an area to go in and do this,” said Lawrence. “This will be an annual event.”
While final numbers have not been provided, the goal of last week’s golf tournament was to raise $30,000 for the program. Lawrence wants to see that number increased to $60,000 in three years.
Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas, manager of mental health promotion with the Cornwall CMHA office, said depending on the amount of funds raised, the program could begin as early as this fall in local schools.