Golfers hit the links to sup­port HALO

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - RYAN MC­CRACKEN rm­c­cracken@medicine­hat­ Twit­ter: MHNMcCrack­en

Dozens of golfers hit the links at Cot­ton­wood Coulee Golf Course on Thurs­day to sup­port their lo­cal mede­vac pro­gram at the HALO Hole In One Tour­na­ment.

While com­plete fundrais­ing to­tals were un­avail­able Thurs­day even­ing, HALO CEO Paul Carolan says he knows the amount raised was sig­nif­i­cant.

“We do know the course was do­nat­ing back the green fees, so it’ll be a sig­nif­i­cant golf tour­na­ment for us,” said Carolan, adding re­cent fundrais­ers like the Hole In One tourney have helped keep HALO airborne into next year.

“We’re plan­ning full op­er­a­tions through the sec­ond quar­ter of 2021 with the pri­mary air­craft, with the BK


HALO an­nounced back in May that it was plan­ning to sig­nif­i­cantly scale back op­er­a­tions in June un­less it re­ceived sup­port from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment. Thank­fully, says Carolan, the com­munity stepped up in its place.

“It’s def­i­nitely been an emo­tional roller­coaster, cer­tainly one of the hard­est an­nounce­ments that I’ve ever had to make when we an­nounced that we were look­ing at scaled­back op­er­a­tions,” he said. “But then al­most im­me­di­ately, we had the Free Fry Day with Mc­Cain and Western Trac­tor. That was a sig­nif­i­cant ral­ly­ing point for us; we raised over $400,000 in one day, but the cri­sis fundrais­ing — and I think that’s an im­por­tant fac­tor here — is that the com­munity has ral­lied around HALO in a cri­sis and we have to rec­og­nize that we can’t al­ways ex­pect to be able to rely on that. So, we do need the gov­ern­ment to come to the ta­ble and we need to be able to get back to nor­mal fundrais­ing.”

While Thurs­day’s golf tour­na­ment was lim­ited to 18 teams in or­der to meet public health guide­lines, Carolan says it was a great way to get back into the com­munity and feel a sense of nor­malcy.

“Hon­estly, just get­ting back in front of peo­ple and hav­ing an event that still re­spects COVID and fol­lows Al­berta Health guide­lines, be­ing able to do that with peo­ple is re­ally part of the pro­gram and we want to make sure we con­tinue with that,” he said. “That’s a big in­tan­gi­ble that’s over and above what­ever fi­nan­cial sup­port we get.”


Eve­lyn Fried takes part in a putting chal­lenge at the HALO Hole In One Tour­na­ment on Thurs­day at Cot­ton­wood Coulee Golf Course.

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