Rotary on course for 32nd Am-Am, raising funds to help the community
ONE of Argyll’s most anticipated charity events of the year will tee off on June 4 as the Rotary Club of Oban presents the 32nd annual Am-Am at Glencruitten Golf Club.
The Am-Am came about as a result of a friendship between Oban Rotarian Terry Macnair and Roy and Shirley Erskine, who are the grandparents of Andy and Jamie Murray, the internationally renowned tennis players.
This led to an invitation from Dunblane Rotary to send a team of four to their inaugural Am-Am and, on their return, it was decided that Oban Rotary could do likewise, and the Oban Am-Am was born. From these modest beginnings, Oban Rotary’s golf AmAm has gone from strength to strength, having raised more than £ 165,000 for local causes.
More than 100 sponsors and nearly 200 players are expected for this year’s event.
‘ We raised just short of £11,000 last year,’ said Rotary junior vice- president Iain MacIntyre.
‘ If we raise between £10,000 and £11,000 this year, I will be delighted.
‘ The Am-Am accounts for about 60 to 70 per cent of our total funds raised each year.
‘ The Rotary Club motto is “Service Before Self”, and there are a great number of worthy local causes out there. We are spreading our money quite wide, so we manage to cover a lot of projects that bigger sponsors can’t. For many causes, especially for children, small amounts such as £ 50 or £ 300 is a lot of money, so we try to make funds available. That’s what this is all about.’
The funds raised at the event are dispersed to a variety of local causes, with an emphasis on youth- oriented activities, such as school trips, junior golf development, shinty, football and rugby coaching and the likes of the Oban High School Pipe Band.
In addition, Oban Rotary continues to support Mary’s Meals, the Laurinburg School exchange, as well as contributing to the local senior citizens’ annual Christmas lunch. Funds from the Am-Am enabled Rotary to make a contribution towards the acquisition of a therapeutic chair for Oban Hospice, support the renewal of the tennis courts at Atlantis and provide continued support for the Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival.
Am-Am funds also helped to fund the purchase of a specialised bicycle to aid the mobility of a disabled teenager and contributed to the acquisition of a second carriage for the Argyll RDA Driving Group in Benderloch, as well as the Healthy Options and Green Shoots initiatives in Oban.
‘Coverage in The Oban Times has brought to everybody’s attention – the players and the sponsors – that this money is being raised on a voluntary basis for local good causes within the Oban and Lorn area, and, as a result, the event has doubled in size over the past few years,’ Mr MacIntyre said.
‘ The feedback we get every year is great and it’s always a very enjoyable day. It’s become part of the culture of the town.’
According to this year’s convener, David Mudie: ‘ Because The Oban Times publicises the work that we do, we get requests just about every week from people or organisations with needs. We can’t cover them all, but we are able to support a variety of worthy causes.’
Besides the players, who come from as far afield as Glasgow, Dunblane and Crieff, the event involves virtually every member of Rotary and hence expenses are kept to a minimum.
The event also enjoys the support of local youngsters, who give their time for ball spotting.
The Rotary Club would like to thank Dougie MacIntyre and the staff at Glencruitten Golf Club, as well as James Forgrieve for all they do to support the event.
Oban Rotary members, led by club president Ken Moncrieff, gathered at Glencruitten Golf Club last Saturday to start preparations for this year’s Golf Charities Day (Am-Am). Joining them is a group of golfers from Liverpool who visit Oban on a regular basis to play at Glencruitten.
Rotary president Graham Fraser is seen here presenting Oban High School Pipe Band with a cheque for £500 as a donation towards its running costs.
Iain MacIntyre and Ken Moncrieff presenting certificates for public speaking to winner Megan Day, second placed Murray Scott and third Sophie Houston.
Graham Fraser, left, presents a cheque to Jane Isaac of Argyll Riding for the Disabled, with fellow Rotarian Ken Oxland.
Oban Rotary Club supports junior golf development at Glencruitten Golf Club.