It’s a long way from the greens and fairways of the Atlantis Ocean Club Golf Course to those desperate for a plate of food but today the distance grew a little bit closer with the announcement of the Inaugural BFN Golf Tournament at the world-renowned course to raise funds for the Bahamas Feeding Network.
Announcement of the tournament set for Sunday, September 25 came at a press conference at Ocean Club Golf Club, Atlantis.
With Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg and others in attendance, businessman, social entrepreneur and tournament host Mario Carey explained by video the inspiration behind the tournament endorsed by Fred Perpall, the newly-elected president of the USGA.
“During COVID-19, when we were doing Pasta Fridays in partnership with Graycliff, I saw the relief on so many faces as they pulled up to get a single container of food,” said Carey. “We were doing about 3,000 meals every Friday and that was only enough to sustain people for a day.
“It was then I realized how deep and great the hunger problem was in The Bahamas and when I was asked to be a director of Bahamas Feeding Network, I felt privileged to join the national initiative which is so much greater than anything we can do individually. The volunteers, the organization, the management of administrative expenses make it a model of how NGO’s should operate and the cause tugged at my heart while the management appealed to my business sense.”
Carey, a golfer himself, threw himself into fund-raising. His goal for the golf tournament – to build awareness and raise enough funds for 50,000 meals.
“We have been excited to see how many corporations and individuals have responded, even before the official announcement today,” he said.
Title sponsor with a $10,000 contribution is Fidelity Bank, whose vice president of lending, Crestwell Gardiner, yesterday assured the company’s support of the BFN.
“Those who know Fidelity would know that over the years we have always been committed to physical and financial fitness,” Gardiner said.
“We understand that the need is great now during this challenging time as Bahamians and we know the program, we know the people and we know the need. So, Fidelity is here.”
Bowleg affirmed the government’s endorsement of the fund-raising event.
“Here, in this land where we are blessed with so many riches,” he said, “there are still thousands that the government and tireless organizations like the Bahamas Feeding Network are working hard to bring relief to, people who through no fault of their own fall through the cracks.
“I applaud the Bahamas Feeding Network under the chairmanship of Felix Stubbs for the incredible work you do, the food parcels you pack every week and distribute to nearly 100 churches, soup kitchens and feeding centres.”
The tournament is raising money through three streams – sponsorships, a raffle and a live auction with prizes that include two Royal Caribbean International 7-day cruises, one to Alaska and another in the Mediterranean, a 3-part sports weekend with box seats to a Dallas cowboys game and golf at a famed Dallas course donated by the Beck Group, resort stays at Four Seasons Ocean Club, BahaMar, Grand Isle Villas in Exuma, Romora Bay in Harbour Island, luxury short-term rentals at Secret Kiss, Harbour Island, and Stella Maris In Long Island all getting into the swing plus airline tickets on Tropix Air Charters and more. WMCD philanthropic trust president Peter Nicholson is donating a 6-day, 5-night stay at a cabin in the woods in Nova Scotia. Bacardi is teeing off with the donation of a top-quality golf bag.
“All eyes will be on the 12th hole,” explains Carey. “That’s where a hole-in-one will win you a brand new Mercedes, thanks to Tyreflex and especially to Insurance Management, a gold sponsor which every time they are asked, they come to the rescue, covering the cost of coverage of transporting that valuable Mercedes to the golf course and back.
The tournament is a two-man scramble with a limit of 124 players.
Despite the competition and prizes, it’s the tournament’s fund-raising cause that brings golfers to the greens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Bahamas Feeding Network Chairman Felix Stubbs said, with the organization currently supplying over 70,000 meals per month, the need is clear.
“The need in our community is great and growing every day,” he said.
“And it is important that we be our brother’s and out sister’s keeper.”
Stubbs added, “There is a huge demand for serving the underserved in our country, those persons who go days and weeks sometimes without proper food.
Source: D.P.A Media