Taking part inlast year’s BAMM Golf Tournament Funny Photo Contest are “Cyril and his StoneTown Physio Crew.” This year’s tournament is set for Sept. 25.
By Dan Rankin
At last year’s inaugural Brain and Mind Matters (BAMM) Golf Tournament, $140,000 was raised by a crowd of 144 golfers and other generous contributors to put towards a fund supporting outpatient care for mental health and traumatic brain injuries in the community. Rather than rest on their laurels, organizer Matt Staffen said the group sees that as a target to try and match this year, when the tournament returns to the St. Marys Golf and Country Club on Sept. 26.
“We’d like to see the fund at over $250,000 total over the two years since we started,” he said, adding that the Staffens will be matching dollar-for-dollar all funds raised up to $40,000 this year. “That’s our low-end goal, since we got $140,000 last year.”
He’s not afraid to call it the “best golf tournament” area golfers can expect to play in all year, with a great banquet, frozen yogurt shop on-site and numerous unique hole events planned, but “it’s not really about the golf,” he said. “It’s about the fun and raising a lot of money for great causes.”
This spring at bike rodeos in Stratford, St. Marys and Mitchell, the group gave out over 80 bike helmets, while fitting hundreds of others for youths in the community.
Additionally, at the banquet following the tournament on Sept. 26, a total of over $20,000 from the BAMM Grant program will be given out to two organizations in the community, one dealing with mental health and the other focusing on traumatic brain injuries, Staffen said.
They’re issues that have affected Staffen’s own family intimately – and, of course, they’re not alone; approximately 20 percent of Canadians will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime.
So, “we’re looking to sell out the tournament again,” he said, noting that there were still spots left for about 20 golfers. “We’re calling anyone who wants to getinvolved to do so by the middle or third week of August.”
Admission into the tournament is $25, but comes with a minimum fundraising requirement of $250. “Ordinarily you’d have to pay $150 or $200 to enter a golf tournament and then you wouldn’t get a tax receipt or anything,” Staffen said. “With this, you only have to pay $25 and it includes your food, your cart, your prizes. The rest of the money you can raise through the community and your own contacts – and you’re spreading the word.”
For more information, visit StMarysGolf.com/pages/brain-mind-matters.