Thursday,  October 21, 2021  11:20 pm

TravelBrands first annual Charity Golf Classic raises $114k

TravelBrands first annual Charity Golf Classic raises $114k

It's safe to say it was unlike any other golf tournament the travel industry has ever seen.

It started off with a helicopter ball drop to set up a million dollar hole-in-one competition later in the afternoon.

This was TravelBrands' first annual Charity Golf Classic at Eagle's Nest Golf Club, joined by more than 150 partners and friends from within the industry and beyond.

"We're very privileged that we can come together this evening - as friends, as family, co-workers, and even the competition," said Frank DeMarinis, CEO. "We come together for a great cause and I can't thank you enough for making this day possible."

While on the greens, participants were challenged to show off their dance moves to the tune of Pharrel Williams' hit song, Happy, which was recorded on video and came together in a fun presentation over dinner.

But as Frank put it, golf was "very secondary" to what the event was all about, referring to their six-figure fundraising goal for Toronto's Hospital For Sick Children. When dinner got underway, $92,000 was in the pot, but following a challenge to "dig deeper" for the silent auction, that number grew to exceed expectations with $114,000 raised by the end of the evening.

Dr. Steven Schwartz of the hospital's cardiac unit was on hand, and enlightened guests to the importance of such fundraisers to the success of its development and care.

"Everything we do is ultimately about the kids that we take care of," he said. "We can't do what we do without you, so thanks to everyone here."

Putting it all in perspective was 14-year-old cardiac patient Brianna, who told her story of how she was born with a rare congenital heart disease, what Sick Kids has done to help her, and what she's been able to accomplish despite the challenges.

"I am living proof that what you do gives families like mine hope, and makes miracles for tomorrow," she said in an emotional speech, before being presented with a trip to visit Universal Orlando and Disney with her parents.

Dinner was MC'd by Breakfast Television's Frank Ferragine and all teams took home a prize for participation.

Major sponsors included Sabre, BMO, Soft Voyage and WestJet.

See a complete gallery of photos on our Facebook page.

Photo: TravelBrands owners, Enzo, Joe & Frank DeMarinis.