The 18th annual Jeanne Renault Memorial Golf Classic tees off on Aug. 16, with all the proceeds going to the family violence prevention program at Woolwich Community Services.
The tournament is named in memory of Jeanne Renault, an Elmira resident who was a longtime supporter of issues related to women and violence in the community. She was instrumental in starting the family violence prevention program in 1990.
For $125, golfers will get 18 holes at the Conestoga Golf and Country Club, dinner, and the chance to win some prizes through a raffle and silent auction, as well as some on-course activities such as closest-to-the-pin and hole-in-one awards.
The program also has a bowl-a-thon in the fall to raise funds, but WCS executive director Don Harloff said the golf tournament is the program’s major fundraiser each year, allowing the organization to continue its work in the community.
The program provides education to the community on building healthy relationships, support to victims of violence and their families, information and referral to relevant services, individual and group support. Proceeds from this event will be directed to prevention initiatives, particularly towards issues of dating violence and strong relationships.
“Foremost, it provides support to people who have been victims of domestic violence, or relationship violence,” said Harloff of the program. “We work with women and men directly and in groups in order to support them through the difficulties that they’re facing.”
The program also supports an in-class educational component where classrooms throughout Woolwich and the north part of Wellesley see children from Grades 1 to 8 learn the importance of healthy relationships.
“We use funds for a variety of things, including our prevention work we are doing in schools every year,” said Harloff. “We go to schools and provide educational components to classes and are trying to get kids to learn how to relate more positively with one another.”
The in-class educational visits are related to the ages of the children at the schools. A child in Grade 1 will learn how to deal with peers on the playground and how to share. For children who may be entering the dating world they are told about the importance of positive dating relationships
“We have been doing this for a number of years and we think it is a very effective way of getting the positive message across to young people in the community to develop healthy dating habits in their future.”
Last year 100 golfers raised approximately $14,000 and organizers are expecting the same this year.
The Jeanne Renault Classic starts at 12:55 p.m. Aug. 16. It’s not too late to sign up as organizers are still accepting golfers as well as sponsors and prize donations. For more information contact WCS at (519) 669-5139.
Although there is no deadline for golfers to sign up to participate in the tournament, organizers are hoping to have most golfers signed up by Aug. 1.
“We really encourage people to get involved as it is a lot of fun and it is for a great cause and everyone can just enjoy the day.”