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CP Women's Open to leave lasting legacy in community




By Brock Weir

The world's best female golfers will arrive in Aurora this week to take on the Magna Golf Course for the CP Canadian Women's Open and while the event will make Aurora a destination for golf enthusiasts from across the GTA and beyond, after the winner is crowned, the game will leave a lasting legacy in the community.

Dedicated to heart health – and, in particular, children's heart health, CP (Canadian Pacific) has set a goal of raising $1.75 million in the lead up to, and over the course of, this tournament which will be divided between Toronto's SickKids Hospital and, locally, Southlake Regional Health Centre.

“In our five years as title sponsor, we've made it a priority to support children's heart health in Canada,” says James Clements, CP's Vice President of Strategic Planning and Transportation Services.

Southlake received their $250,000 donation earlier this month, and it will go directly to their Paediatric Cardiology Care Centre, supporting a new echocardiogram with specialized paediatric probes. This advanced equipment uses ultrasound technology to map images of the heart and will enable Southlake's expert clinical teams to diagnose and monitor heart conditions for young patients at the hospital.

“We are honoured to be recognized by CP as an important provider of paediatric cardiac care in York Region,” says Susan Mullin, President and CEO of the Southlake Foundation. “This kind of support enables us to grow and expand the services we offer, meaning that we can better shift our focus to meet the needs of our communities and be able to provide the care they need closer to home.”

But the fundraising is far from over.

Once game play begins on Monday, running through August 25, spectators and supporters will have a chance to get in on the action.

“The biggest fundraiser we have been doing since CP took over title sponsorship in 2014 is what we call Birdies for Heart,” explains Golf Canada's Ryan Paul. “Each year, CP designates one hole as the official charity hole and, on that hole, every time a player makes a birdie during the competition, CP donates $5,000 to that hospital. We have seen numbers as low as $55,000, which is still a fantastic donation amount to upwards of over $100,000. This year on the seventeenth hole, which is a beautiful Par 3, I think the players are going to enjoy that hole, they're really going to attack the pin, so we're hoping to get a lot of birdies and get that number up.

“New this year, what spectators can do to get involved in, as always, is they can sit and watch and cheer on the birdies and encourage players to raise that donation, but they can get on board too by doing a flat donation or pledging themselves a dollar amount per birdie. If you want to make a donation of $100 and you think there are going to be 100 Birdies, you can say, ‘I will donate $1 per birdie made by the players' and now you're part of the action too and part of the excitement.”

You don't even have to be on the seventeenth hole to make that pledge; you can do it from the comfort of your own home by making your pledges online at www.cpwomensopen.com, where dollars are already rolling in.

“We work really hard with CP and our partners to have a positive legacy and a leave-behind in the markets that we go to, just in experience and enjoyability in the event,” says Mr. Paul.

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