Pink hair, pink gear, pink everywhere. Each year, hundreds of women transform the lush green lawns of golf courses across Canada into a sea of pink to have fun and raise funds to conquer breast cancer. This is the spirit of Golf Fore the Cure – a program created by Golf Canada to drive women’s participation in the game of golf and raise money to support the fight against breast cancer.
Golf Canada's partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society - through Golf Fore the Cure - has raised more than $4 million to support the Society's breast cancer research and support programs. From east to west and as far north as the Northwest Territories, thousands of women have been making a huge difference in the lives of Canadians affected by breast cancer, one round at a time.
Jeff Thompson, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer, recalls the origins of the program. “Initially, we simply wanted to get more women involved in golf. We knew that there was about a 3:1 participation difference in men and women playing the game, and we felt the need to create a platform specifically for women that would be appealing and motivate more of them to play. So out of that, Golf Fore the Cure was born.”
This signature fundraising program has grown from just over 50 events in 2006 to nearly 180 in 2014. Each year, site coordinators invest many hours in planning, coordinating and hosting local golf events. While the women who participate get involved for various reasons, they share a common goal of defeating breast cancer.
Golf Canada expects to see even more women participating in the program this year. “While the philanthropic focus of the program underpins its success, we haven’t lost sight of the goal of getting more women to play golf. In fact, more women playing translates into even more funds generated for breast cancer research, awareness and support,” says Jeff Thompson.
Golf Canada – and all the women who have made Golf Fore the Cure the success it is each year – can be proud of their invaluable contribution to the advancements made in breast cancer research, and to providing women with physical, psychological and emotional support throughout their cancer journey. The hard work and dedication of all our Golf Fore the Cure volunteers and donors has had a tremendous impact on the scientific world and on the lives of thousands of Canadian women, their families, friends and caregivers in communities across Canada.
The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer, which today stands at 88%, underscores the impact of their support on breast cancer research. And many women have benefited from the Society’s support programs like the Peer Support Service, Community Services Locator, Cancer Information Service and transportation and wig programs.
“I’m extremely grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for funding my research with an Innovation Grant."
“Championing such a worthy cause year after year is quite remarkable. It says a lot about the mutuality of the relationship we share with the Canadian Cancer Society. And, of course, the support of Subaru as presenting sponsor of the program cannot be overstated. Subaru is as passionate about health and well-being as both Golf Canada and the Society are. And so seeing an alignment in terms of shared values, they ‘came out swinging’ from the outset.” Jeff Thompson
The Society recognizes that it cannot fulfil its mission without funding from supporters like Golf Canada, yet this partnership extends far beyond the dollars. It’s about building awareness and empowering Canadian women. It’s about changing lives and attitudes. Indeed, this is a winning strategy for both Golf Canada and the Society – one that the Society is extremely proud of and tremendously grateful for.
So, thank you Golf Canada, for sharing our vision and having the foresight to step forward. Thank you to every site coordinator for their labour of love in dedicating time and effort to host an event. Thanks to every golfer for every round played and for mobilizing your network of family, friends and acquaintances to donate to this worthy cause. And, of course, to lead sponsor – Subaru – whose investment in the program each year makes it all possible.