Last hurrah for Garrick Golf Day

“If you had said to me years ago that we would raise $15,000, I’d have called you crazy. I would’ve told you there’s no hope in the world. So to do that is just amazing – a nice ‘wow’ moment,” Mike Garrick said as he reflected on his fundraising journey.

For seven years, Mike and his wife Deb have held their annual Garrick Golf Day fundraiser for the WCH Foundation.

The final Garrick Golf Day was held on Friday 26 March at the Blackwood Golf Course, with 92 players and 15 helpers supporting the day. The weather was wet and overcast but didn’t dampen spirits, with everyone pitching in to raise a record $15,000, bringing the couple’s total amount raised for the Foundation to over $75,000.

“This amazing figure would not have been possible without the magnificent generosity of the Blackwood Golf Club, a wonderful group of supporters, an amazing collection of helpers and very bighearted players who participated in the day,” Mike said.

“This figure will go a long way to assist sick children and their families.”

95 players and 15 helpers at Garrick Golf Day's last hurrah.

95 players and 15 helpers at Garrick Golf Day’s last hurrah.

Garrick Golf Day supporting the ‘Laklinyeri’ Beach House

The money raised by Mike and Deb goes towards funding the WCH Foundation’s ‘Laklinyeri’ Beach House which hosts families who are bereaved or whose children are in palliative care or have complex care needs.

“The Beach House has actually given us something unique here in South Australia and I think that’s a point of difference for the Foundation,” Deb said.

“That’s made it really easy for us to be able to raise money because it’s something that people can see. You’ve got the stories to tell about it, it’s very tangible.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s $50, $100 or $15,000, everything is going to help to make that journey for those families at the Beach House that much better. So from my point of view, that’s satisfying as a Fundraiser.”

Mike and Deb explained that the planning and effort that goes into these Golf Days is huge.

“Running a golf day is like herding wild cats,” Mike said.

Despite the time it takes, the pair are passionate about doing their bit to support the Foundation. Mike said it “defies his logic” as to why more people don’t raise money for sick kids and their families.

“Why do we have to wait for a child to die to get active in helping kids?” he asked.

On the day of the last hurrah, Mike shared stories of families who have stayed at the Beach House which pulled at the heartstrings of the golfers.

“I must have been fairly passionate when I spoke because when I looked up, everyone was crying,” Mike said, “I couldn’t believe it.”

Passing the baton

Mike has fundraised for various charities over many years, in 2006 receiving an Australia Day Achievement Medal (ADAM) for his fundraising service to the community.

Now, he and Deb are stepping back to enjoy retirement and “smell the roses” after years of hard work.

“It’s been a great journey. It’s been fun and we have learnt a lot along the way also. Not just through the Golf Day, but just being associated with the Foundation,” he said.

WCH Foundation CEO, Jane Scotcher, presenting artwork as a thank you to Deb and Mike.

WCH Foundation CEO, Jane Scotcher, presenting artwork as a thank you to Deb and Mike.

The artwork presented to Deb and Mike, created by the WCH Foundation's Arts in Health and Fundraising teams.

The artwork presented to Deb and Mike, created by the WCH Foundation’s Arts in Health and Fundraising teams.

Mike is passing the fundraising baton and is challenging people to raise money for the Foundation in his absence.

“They can hold a barbecue if they want to or play a game of cards or eight-ball with their workmates, just do something. Raise some money and help this organization,” he said.

If you’re interested in hosting a fundraiser for the WCH Foundation, you can find more information here.

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