The ninth Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Day General Rick Golf Classic will be held on May 16th at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club in Toronto. The event brings together members of the military and Canadian public.
Organized by Forces and Families, each year 40 military members join dozens of members of the business community and Canadian public for this golfing event. Various large-scale sponsors from coast to coast, like Adidas Canada, the NHL Alumni, TD, and Rogers, send three members to golf. The group of three is then joined by one member of the forces.
“It’s a give and take through the course of the day. The serving members with the TD group ask ‘what’s it like inside TD. How does TD operate.’ So, they get a look into corporate Canada or the regular Canadian they are golfing with. And the regular Canadians get a first-hand insight into what it’s like to be an airmen, sailor or a reservist or an Army personnel. Canadians always come away saying ‘I didn’t realize, I wasn’t aware, I didn’t know’ and that kind of awareness is always very important,” said John Randolph, member of Forces and Families.
The day begins with a small meet and greet then the teams hit the course for a few hours of golfing. The day rounds out with a formal military dinner.
Several high-profile military members are also present including Retired Gen. Rick Hillier. This year’s senior member is Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. Lieutenant-General Guy Thibault.
“The main focus is to bring together regular Canadians to say thank you, face-to-face with members of the military to build morale, and to build mutual respect and mutual awareness,” explained Randolph.
The Golf Classic also raises funds for Support Our Troops and CFMWS, but Randolph says the event is much more than that.
“It’s much more important for us to have a member, serving or reservist, to help improve morale and build that bridge between Canadians and the military to increase awareness. That’s way more important for us,” said Randolph.
The Golf Classic began in the mid-2000s with the support of Hillier.
Few spots are left in the CAF Appreciation Day General Rick Golf Classic. To reserve a spot visit the Forces and Families website.