Members of the Disaster Relief Committee are joined Thursday at Lakehead Motors, where a Sept. 13 fundraising golf tournament, put on by True Grit Consulting was announced. Lakehead Motors is donating the Fiat 500 Sport as part of the event.
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Local golfers are being encouraged to hit the links to help out the Thunder Bay and Area Disaster Relief Fund.
A one-time charity golf tournament, scheduled for Sept. 13 at Whitewater Golf Course, will be combined with a no-limit auction of a fiery-red Fiat 500 Sport, an event Disaster Relief Committee officials hope will raise up to $100,000 for the cause.
With matching funds from the province, it would mean $300,000 added to the kitty.
DRC chairman Wayne Fletcher said the tournament, being spearheaded by True Grit Consulting, and the car, donated by Lakehead Motors, are great examples of what needs to be done as the fund limps toward its $5-million goal.
“I think this is a huge offer. For every dollar (raised) you get three, because you get the extra from the province. When you start talking about $20,000 cars and $75,000 trucks and Whitewater being donated by (owner) Sylvio (DiGregario), I think that’s awesome,” Fletcher said Thursday, noting the fund is just shy of $900,000, leaving $4.1 million to collect before Nov. 30.
The money, with two-for-one matching funds from the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program, will be used to help restore essentials to thousands of residents affected by a May 28 flood and subsequent sewage back-up disaster.
Fletcher, whose organization intends to hold a massive fundraising campaign through local businesses over the Labour Day Weekend, said he expects fundraising to pick up as summer wanes.
“Once the schools come back into play and people are back in town all the time, I think we’ll see a pick-up in that regard,” he said, stressing he’s not concerned they’ve only managed to collect less than 20 per cent of their overall target to date.
“The goal was set based on a need. We know that we’re looking at anywhere from $15 million to $20 million in claims. This is not for luxury items. This is just to get people back on their feet. This is for structural damage … Therefore the $5 million is what the committee said this is what we really need to take care of these people who have been severely hurt by this disaster,” Fletcher said.
Claimants can receive up to 90 per cent of eligible costs under ODRAP, but Fletcher warned if the DRC does not hit its target, payouts will be less, based on a percentage of what was actually collected in the community. Neither Gorderich nor Peterborough, the only other communities to tap into the provincial program, raised the full 100 per cent of their goal.
True Grit’s Eric Zakrewski said that’s exactly why his company got behind the golf tournament and helped to make it happen.
“We understand the Disaster Relief Committee was looking for as many avenues as possible to generate as much money as possible to capitalize on the ODRAP system, the match by the province. When we heard they were challenged for resources to put on any kind of events, we felt as a local Thunder Bay-based business that we should step up to the plate and then ask other businesses to join us in stepping up to the plate and put something like this on to try to generate as much money as we possibly can in one event,” he said.
The Fiat will be auctioned off in a live auction at Whitewater on the night of the event.
To register for the Thunder Bay’s Got True Grit Golf Tournament, contact True Grit Consulting at 626-5640. The entry fee for each four-member team is $1,500. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
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