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WCS drives for something new with golf tournament

Jeanne Renault Golf Classic marks its 25th anniversary as fundraiser for the family violence prevention program

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Teeing things up for the 25th time, WCS has a few additions to its annual Jeanne Renault Golf Classic fundraiser, set this year for August 15.

Woolwich Community Services’ 25th anniversary tournament will take place at the Ariss Golf and Country Club, differing from its usual location of the Conestoga Golf and Conference Centre.

The agency’s Leigh-Anne Quinn said the decision stemmed from a desire to switch it up for the anniversary since it has taken place in Conestogo for some two decades.

“With it being our 25th year, we’ve added a fun little twist,” said Quinn. “We’re asking people to dress in their brightest – they can wear a bright golf shirt, hat, full outfit, whatever works for them.”

Funds raised from the day on the links go towards WCS’ family violence prevention program, which supports families dealing with domestic violence, along with offering a public education component.

The program supported 136 people in the last year, as well as educating some 4,000 students on how to reduce violence in their lives. The direct supports include referrals to other community services, including housing, financial, therapeutic counselling, and legal aid.

Through the program, WCS staff support men, women and children in the community dealing with violence. To promote prevention, an educator visits schools in the townships to bring an age-appropriate message to kids in kindergarten up to high school.

“The memorial tournament was named after Jeanne Renault, an Elmira resident who was the driving force behind starting the family violence prevention program,” said Quinn. “The tournament is actually dedicated to her life and work in the area of family violence prevention. So through her leadership and support, she did a lot of work for the program.”

WCS serves Woolwich and the northern half of Wellesley Township.

On average, 100 people make it out to the tournament and raise some $10,000 in support of the program each year. Golfers get access to contests and the opportunity to participate in a silent auction. The event will include lunch, followed by a steak dinner and buffet after the golfing is done.

The atmosphere is not overly competitive, with fun being the goal of the best-ball format, said Quinn, noting the day is very much suited for casual and even first-time golfers. While many people come out every year, the group always welcomes newcomers.

“It’s harder to get new golfers each year. So we’re actively seeking new golfers,” said Quinn. “We’d love to get some new foursomes out. You know, maybe that would introduce some new people to the program, and to what it does for the community.

“The other thing, too, we would urge is local businesses to send employees. So do an employee draw and allow four of your staff members to come out and golf for a day.”

Every new golfer will get a prize for participating. Tee-off begins at 12:55 p.m. on August 15 at the Ariss Golf and Country Club. Those interested in signing up can call 519-669-5139.

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