Laurentian alumni raise almost $25,000 for cancer research in golf tournament


By Kayla Perry

On Aug. 12, four Laurentian alumni hosted the first Golf Marathon for Hope at the Idylwylde Golf & Country Club. The 14-hour tournament, which ran from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., raised a total of nearly $25,000 for the Northern Cancer Foundation.

Jean-Paul Rains, one of the co-founders of the event and Manager of Digital Strategy for LU, is an avid golfer, so when the group decided to raise money for cancer research, golfing seemed like a great way to do so.

“A friend of mine used to golf as many holes as possible on the longest day of the year, and try and raise money for cancer,” said Rains. “I thought we could apply the same concept on a larger scale, and because cancer affects so many people each year, this would be a great cause. For me, golf is something I like to do, and ultimately it’s about taking something you enjoy doing and putting it towards something you are passionate about.”

The co-founders of the event, Jonathan McNeil, Shawn Frappier, Justin Lemieux and Rains, initially planned to golf alone, and hoped to raise one thousand dollars each. However, to Rains’ delight, the fundraiser morphed into something much larger.

“We had a lot of people say they would like to participate, and the tournament grew to 20 golfers,” said Rains.

Each golfer was sponsored on a per-hole basis, and was responsible for raising a thousand dollars for the Northern Cancer Foundation. The fundraiser featured 20 sponsored golfers and eight celebrity caddies.

“I think this is a great example of young people taking it upon themselves to do things for good causes, and I think it’s something that is new among our generation,” said Rains.

All four of Rains’ grandparents were diagnosed with cancer, and ultimately lost two grandparents due to the disease.

“I never got to know my grandfathers (because of cancer). I want to live in a time where cancer is not the number one cause of death in Canada,” said Rains.

The SGA was among those who acted as a corporate sponsor for the event, donating five hundred dollars to the cause. The funds came from the SGA’s sponsorship budget, which is used to sponsor students and community events.

“It is a very creative and engaging way to draw attention to the major impact that the Northern Cancer Foundation has on many Northern families,” said Mark Mancini, VP of Student Issues for the SGA.

Mancini, who was among the eight celebrity caddies at the 14-hour golf day, also said that “fighting against cancer is a cause to which we wanted to donate our full energy” and that any time there is a chance to support cancer research, the SGA will.

The four founders plan on hosting the marathon again next year.