Snow golfing: New Brunswickers tee off for a good cause

On Saturday afternoon, dozens turned out for the 22nd annual Canadian Snow Golf Championships in Midland, N.B.

The event, created to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Canada, is hosted at the Midland Meadows Golf Club. Teams of four descend on the 9-hole course with golf clubs and a tennis ball, striving to achieve the best score.

“I watched Doug Gilmour, a little kid, skate with Doug Gilmour, and that was his wish, and I watched that a couple of times,” event organizer Stephen Vail said about the inspiration for snow golf. “It was my Church of Latter-day Saints moment.”

About 100 golfers turned out Saturday for the 22nd annual Canadian Snow Golf Championships in Midland, N.B.

Robert Lothian/Global News

Vail added the idea came as Glen Gray started the golf course, which made for a “perfect storm.”

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Over the years, the annual event has become more prominent as it’s helped local children have their wishes granted.

“First year we raised $500 thought we were saving the world, and 22 years later and over $300,000 here we are with this great event,” said Gray, who owns the course along with his wife Sherry.

In the first year of the pandemic, they worried COVID-19 would thwart efforts to raise funds. Instead, they had to open more tee times and, in the end, raised enough to fund three wishes.

While Sherry doesn’t anticipate they will raise that much this year, their glad funds are still raised for a good cause, and fun has been had in the process.

“So what we’ve always said is if you play it one year, you’re hooked, you’re going to come back the next year. And as I said to somebody today, you don’t have to know how to play golf, you just have to know how to have fun,” she said.

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Recently, a local wish was granted for a 9-year-old named Mya, who has cystic fibrosis. In December Mya, along with her family, travelled to Florida to visit a theme park.

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“It’s communities and events like this that allow us the opportunity to grant wishes like Mya, who is a local kid,” said Sue Dempster, the Atlantic Wish Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Canada.

“We have 60 local children in New Brunswick right now with critical illnesses that are waiting on wishes.”

While the organizers for the Canadian Snow Golf Championships thought 25 years may be the lifespan of the event, as each year passes, they said they can’t imagine giving it up.

Click to play video: 'Making Wishes Come True for Seniors'

Making Wishes Come True for Seniors

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