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This article was published 2/8/2017 (903 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Flanked by family and friends, National Hockey League forward Matt Calvert presented the proceeds of his inaugural golf tournament to the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation on Tuesday.
The Matt Calvert Charity Shootout, held at the Wheat City Golf Course in June, raised more than $50,000. The funds will go toward upgrading the hospital’s Palliative Care Unit, in memory of Calvert’s grandfather, Melvin Calvert, and his close friend’s mother, Donna Hamm, who both passed away last year.
"It was a bit of a tough summer for both of us," Calvert said.
Along with friends Kyle Hamm and Scott Hellyer, he helped get the ball rolling for the charity event. A committee was formed and sponsors quickly stepped up, including Outperforme Athletics and Dynamic Physiotherapy.
"I’ve been to so many golf tournaments or charity events in the summer when I come back to the city… and I always knew that was something I wanted to do."
Being away from Brandon for eight months of the year, the Columbus Blue Jackets forward said he was impressed by how the committee came together for the common goal.
"They were unbelievable how they put it together," he said. "We were projecting numbers and all that, but $50,000 was something I don’t think we ever thought we would get to in year one."
The funds will go toward sprucing up the palliative care ward, including new furnishings.
"Making it more comfortable for families being there in such a tough situation," Calvert said. "Whether it’s loveseats or TVs or whatever they end up doing with it, it’s just going to be great to see that."
Calvert played for the Brandon Wheat Kings from 2007 to 2010, and comes home every summer. His wife, Courtney, and one-year-old son Kasey joined him on Tuesday for the special event.
"We love it here in the summer," he said. "You never know where life brings you but we want to be a big part of the community, too."
Calvert is hoping to make the tournament an annual event.
CindyBuizer, executive director of the BRHC Foundation, said she was overwhelmed and at a loss for words when she heard about the generous donation.
"The support, this community, and the things they do for this BRHC site, are unbelievable," she said. "When we say ‘thank you,’ it’s not enough. I don’t know how to express something bigger than that … It’s fabulous what it’s going to do."
New recliners and other furnishings will be purchased, which Buizer says will make a difference for both the patients and their family members.
"A huge thank you to everyone who was involved with the tournament — the organizers, the sponsors, the golfers, everybody who had a hand in this," Buizer said. "The outcome is spectacular for this community, and the area served by this site."
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