By Tom Jenkins
On Saturday, February 4th, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 236 St Marys opened its doors to the public for a new and fun-filled project – a mini-putt tournament.
It took about three days of preparation on the part of dedicated Legion volunteers to transform the upstairs hall into a golf course. Carpet was laid, holes were designed, and wooden structures were put in place to make the course take shape. Each of the 18 holes had a theme and was decorated with a variety of items that both entertained and provided obstacles to players as they navigated the layout.
While the primary purpose of the Legion is to provide support to veterans, the organization also has a mandate to assist in the development of Canadian youth. This project was clearly a hit with the younger participants as the little ones were all smiles when playing the course.
Even adult players, including several who are dedicated golfers, were heard commenting about how tough the course was. While it may not quite rival Augusta, it certainly provided a challenge for both old and young alike.
The Legion was truly amazed by how much support the local business community gave to the event. The man in charge of collecting prizes, Vic Mansfield, was overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the donations. A very large number of players earned themselves a prize for participating in the tourney.
The tournament was also a much needed shot in the arm for the Legion as far as fundraising goes. Many people don’t realize that the organization only gets to keep a very small percentage of the money it raises through things such as their weekly meat draw and 50/50 draws. Over 90% of the profits made from those lottery-licensed endeavours are donated back into the community.
At the end of the day, approximately 120 players had putted their way over and through clowns, bridges, loop de loops, drill sergeants, dinosaurs, pumpkins, hippos, and assorted other challenges. With all the positive feedback received throughout the day, Legion personnel are considering making it an annual event and are already working on ways to improve the next version of the course.