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Celebrity golf classic continues to be a hit with golfers

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It may not have been a sellout, but the fourth annual Grand Plains Celebrity Golf Classic presented by Gilbert Plains Co-op proved to be just as successful as the first three years.
For the second year in a row, the team of Scott McCallum, Chad Facey, Gene Turk, Billy Turk and their celebrity Jayce Hawryluk won the tournament with an 18-under 53.
Other celebrities included New York Islanders defenceman Ryan Pulock of Grandview, Colby Robak of Gilbert Plains, Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Travis Sanheim and St. Louis Blues prospect and former Brandon Wheat King Tanner Kaspick. A sixth celebrity, Michael Ferland of the Vancouver Canucks, pulled out of the event, last week.
The Gilbert Plains Country Club (GPCC) hosted the event and general manager McCallum is always amazed at the celebrities taking time out of their busy summer schedules to participate in the event.
“They live abroad. They don’t live locally. Guys are coming out from Brandon and other places. To see these guys willing to give back to their communities and give back to the minor hockey system and the golf club is really something special, he said.
“They’re true professionals. They know what they’re doing when they come. They understand the magnitude of the money that they can raise. It’s really a good thing.”
Money raised from the tournament will go to Grand Plains minor hockey and the GPCC.
The tournament attracted 26 teams of four. Five other teams pulled out of the event because of the funeral of a well known member of the community.
“We were pleased with the numbers. There was something that went on in our community not long ago which affected the numbers. It was very unfortunate. There’s things that happen and you can’t change the dates. Our thoughts were certainly with the Galloway family today as we went about our things,” McCallum said.
“We’re hoping that the success of the auction and the way the celebrities were auctioned off today is going to be a success.”
Although only five celebrities attended this year’s tournament, McCallum said organizers cannot ever be disappointed with how many celebrities show up.
“You’ve got to be grateful for what you have. I don’t know whether people understand, these guys have very, very, very rigorous schedules. And at any time, their NHL team can ask them to be in whatever city they’re with and be training at that time. So guys’ schedules definitely plays a part in it,” he said.
“We’re just grateful for the guys that showed up today. I think that everyone was grateful for the guys that had the opportunity to play with them. And outside of that, its a four-person scramble and everybody had a great day.”
Pulock said there are not a lot of opportunities for him to give back to the community where he got his start in hockey.
“When you do, it’s always important to try and help out as much as you can. If Grand Plains minor hockey wasn’t a thing, then I wouldn’t be here,” he said.
“And the golf course, too, just allowing kids to play multiple sports. Because hockey is important, but I think to have this course here in the summer for kids, I think it’s just going to help them improve as athletes. So its always nice to come back and help out.”
Hawryluk made his third appearance in the tournament this year. He enjoys coming every time he is asked.
“I love coming to this tournament. It’s awesome. They put on a great event and the people are amazing here. It’s nice seeing a lot of familiar faces that I grew up around and playing hockey here,” he said.
“It’s nice to be able to give back and help out. It’s a beautiful golf course that, I think, if you ever have a chance, you should get out to play if you have it. It’s been an amazing day. I couldn’t ask for a better one. I’m just happy to be out here and I’m looking forward to be back.”

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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