The Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) has fittingly chosen Soldier On as the charity of choice in the organization’s last run at hosting the annual National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.
Taking place this year from Aug. 14 to Aug. 20, the National Capital Open is an official tournament of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada that gives the general public an up close view of up and coming talent. CFMWS has been putting on this event since 2014.
“This tournament creates an opportunity for these great young golfers, from across North America and even some Europeans and South Americans, a gateway to getting to the PGA. For these young athletes, this is an incredible opportunity.
“For us, to be able to run this and raise money for our Soldier On program is pretty special. We’re excited to do it, and we’re going to do it well,” said Peter Atkinson, Tournament Director of the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.
Even though this is the last year CMFWS will be hosting the event, Atkinson promises that this will take nothing away from this year’s event. Teams of hundreds of volunteers and professionals have been working hard for days to make the event a success.
“We’re running a first-class event,” noted Atkinson.
For the last several years, the National Capital Open Support Our Troops has chosen a charity to support the military community. Last year, the focus was on homeless veterans through the organization Soldiers Helping Soldiers.
This year it is Soldier On, a program that focuses on the rehabilitation of ill and injured soldiers through sport.
“When it comes to raising money for a charity that makes a difference, that’s [Soldier On] pretty darn important,” said Atkinson.
The goal is to raise $100,000 for Soldier On.
“We’re completely humbled by the opportunity. Soldier On is a program set up for ill and injured members to rehab through sports. So, the fit with golf is perfect on so many levels,” said Jay Feyko, Senior Manager Soldier On.
Feyko says the National Capital Open will also be an opportunity to raise awareness about the organization.
“It’s a way for Canadians to know that the ill and injured members, that we’re supporting, are not alone in their recovery. There are lots of folks across the country who will support them in the darkest of their days and through their challenges long after they receive their illness or injury while serving,” added Feyko.
The money will go directly towards Soldier On’s programs for ill and injured veterans and military members since its overhead costs are covered by the government. Programs include 50 camps Soldier On hosts throughout the year to help members adjust to the “new norm” of living with an illness or injury.
The National Capital Open to Support Our Troops kickoffs on Monday, Aug. 14 with an official ceremony at Ottawa City Hall, hosted by Mayor Jim Watson.
Throughout the week there will be a number of golfing events including several Soldier On golf clinics and a Pro-Am tournament.
A notable event of the tournament is the Executive Women’s Event on Friday morning. Hosted by Sharon Johnston, wife of Canada’s Governor General, the event will feature an incredible lineup of guest speakers including MCpl. (ret’d) Natacha Depuis; Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces, Cmdre. Geneviève Bernatchez; and Margaret Trudeau.
“That is an opportunity for her (Mrs. Sharon Johnston) to recognize women of influence in the Canadian Forces, and the community,” added Atkinson.
The main tournament begins Thursday and will run throughout the weekend. The general public is welcome to attend.
“We just want them to come and enjoy and see these young professionals because they put on a show for us and they aspire to make it to the PGA Tour,” said Atkinson.
Families can also enjoy a military zone with demos and hardware for children to enjoy.
Although it is free to attend, donations to Soldier On are encouraged. Donation drums will be scattered throughout the golf course throughout the weekend.
The National Capital Open Support Our Troops will take place at the Hylands Golf Club in Ottawa, ON.
For parking information or a complete list of events visit the CFMWS website .