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Golf and hockey legends team up for charity at the Shaw Charity Classic

(L to R) TOP: Jordan Eberle, Tim Mauro (Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre), Mike Stevens, Russ Cochran, Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Tom Lehman, P.K. Subban, Mike Green, Lucy Miller (United Way), Mark O'Meara, Tom Byrum BOTTOM: Kareem (Calgary Police Interpretive Centre), Logan Fullerton (KidSport Calgary), Campbell Laidlaw (Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta)

August 27, 2013

By Celynn Cooper, Special to Together.PGATOUR.com

CALGARY, Alberta-  Golf, hockey and charity combined Monday at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club to open tournament week for the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic. To see the benefits of these charitable efforts, you need not look further than Canyon Meadows junior member, Campbell Laidlaw.

Flanked by Canadian hockey superstars Sidney Crosby, Jordan Eberle, P.K. Subban, Steven Stamkos, and Mike Green, young Campbell Laidlaw was there- proudly wearing his team Canada colors – representing the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.  At the age of two, Campbell was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. The Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta played a huge role in his recovery as he underwent treatment.

“Right when I was diagnosed they just welcomed me and took me to camps and basically supported our family throughout the whole thing,” Campbell said.

Hopefuls for Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey team arrived at Canyon Meadows for a team building exercise in advance of Sochi 2014, but also to show their support for local charities and kick off what promises to be an exciting week at the Shaw Charity Classic. The players teamed up with Champions Tour golfers, Mark O’Meara, Russ Cochran, Tom Lehman and Tom Byrum as well as representatives from five local charities for the friendly competition. The charities receiving support from this year’s Shaw Charity Classic are: Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta, KidSport Calgary, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, Youthlink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre, United Way “All-In” For Youth, and the Southern Alberta Emergency Relief Fund. 

When it comes to charity, Shaw Charity Classic Tournament Director Sean Van Kesteren says professional golfers are a special breed. “There is no sports organization that raises as much money as the PGA TOUR, they love giving back and that’s why we run this event.”

This statement was echoed by Champions Tour President Mike Stevens who says it will be sometime next year when the combined charitable efforts of the PGA TOUR, Champions and Web.com Tours will surpass the $2 billion mark. 

And while Stevens pointed out that the Champions Tour players were doing this event on what is normally a day off, he also praised the work of Hockey Canada. “This event shows how golfers and superstar hockey players are all about giving back.”

Two-time major champion Mark O’Meara agrees that giving back to the community is huge. “All the golfers realize how fortunate they are and also realize there are a lot of people who need help and so most of the guys look at supporting charity as a humbling experience.”

For Crosby, a good bet to captain the 2014 team in Sochi, Monday’s events were all positive. “It’s really important, you only have a couple days to really get to know your teammates and this stuff all helps.”

For kids like Campbell Laidlaw, charitable events like this not only help; they can be life changing. For this Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta rep, who is known to trade his golf clubs for hockey gear in the winter, Monday’s events won’t soon be forgotten and with the Shaw Charity Classic’s commitment to charity, many unforgettable memories are sure to be created during this inaugural year and beyond.

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