Brandonite Dwight Kearns will compete in the provincial senior men's championship next week in Teulon.
For the last eight years, golfers from all over Westman have come together to have a fun day on the course and to raise money for Special Olympics Westman at the Heavy Open, but this is their last chance to do that.
After eight years, the family of Heavy Evason, who the tournament is named after, have decided along with the organizing committee to make today’s event the final one.
It has nothing to do with its success — last year’s tournament raised about $14,000 and this year’s field has been packed with 210 competitors for months — but organizers just felt the event has run its course.
For Chris Gramiak, this year’s Heavy Open will be filled with mixed emotions. Gramiak has been on the event’s board for five years and loves paying tribute to Evason every year. However, he knows it will be hard to say goodbye to a great charity golf tournament.
"(Being associated with the Heavy Open) meant everything in the world to me," he said. "Heavy was a mentor growing up as a hockey coach and was just a great guy and for what he did for the special Olympics. Basically, when he coached me, it would have been close to 30 years ago, his family became friends of myself and that’s an important thing."
Gramiak said nothing special was planned to celebrate the final year of the tournament, but he expects an outstanding event and a great party at the Shilo Country Club.
"It’s the best tournament around, there’s no doubt about it," he said. "It’s mixed emotions, but for the family and committee it’s about time and we’re going to go out with a bang."
SENIOR PROVINCIALS: Brandon’s Dwight Kearns and Killarney’s Bill Moslenko are the only two people from Westman competing in the provincial senior men’s championship, which will run on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Teulon Golf and Country Club. No one from the region is competing in the senior women’s championship.
MAPLE LEAF TOUR: After helping Team Westman win a bronze medal at the Manitoba Summer Games last week, Brandon’s Kolby Day and Austin Dobrescu are back on the course today for a Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour stop at Teulon. Both golfers are competing in the 14- to 16-year-old age group. The two-round event ends on Friday.
GOLF BALLS FOR KIDS: The inaugural year of the MGI Wealth Tour’s Golf Balls for Kids program has been a huge success so far.
Approximately 1,800 golf balls have been given out to kids for free if they’re playing at one of six courses — Minnedosa, Deer Ridge, Wheat City, Souris, Killarney and Shilo — participating in the giveaway. Dean Oakden, the tour’s organizer is impressed with those numbers.
"I was thinking (we’d give away) about 3,000 for the year between the six courses," he said.
"We’re at 1,800 right now, so obviously a lot of kids are benefitting from the program, and that’s great to see."
CHIP SHOTS: The MGI Wealth Tour returns from a week off with the Lakeside Golf Course’s Men’s Open on Saturday at Shoal Lake and skins games at the Shilo Country Club on Sunday … The Neepawa Golf and Country Club will host the Touchwood Charity Tournament on Monday … The Westman Junior Tour stops in Killarney on Tuesday … The Minnedosa Golf and Country Club will host a couples mixer for mixed teams of two on Aug. 3, to be followed by a mixed open in Neepawa on Aug. 5 … The Desert Classic tees off at Shilo on Aug. 4 at 9:30 a.m. It continues the next day at the Carberry Sandhills Golf and Country Club. People can register by calling 204-834-2335 … Aug. 7 will be busy at Westman courses with Neepawa hosting a women’s 50-plus tournament, Shilo hosting a senior men’s event and the Westman Junior Tour stopping at the Pleasant Valley Golf Club … Boissevain will host a senior women’s tournament on Aug. 8. Neepawa’s senior interclub windup will take place on the same day … The Beautiful Plains Community Foundation’s charity tournament still has room for competitors. The event will be held at the Neepawa Golf and Country Club on Aug. 10, with a $100 entry fee. Call 204-476-2681 to register.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 26, 2012