Ken Selvaraja

Charity golf tournament a success at Sandpiper

Eighteen-hole golf course in Harrison Mills was abuzz with golfers at the third annual Lanka Jewels charity golf tournament.

Sandpiper Golf Course in Harrison Mills was abuzz with golfers at the third annual Lanka Jewels charity golf tournament Friday afternoon, and for good reason.

One-hundred per cent of the tournament proceeds go directly to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Ken Selvaraja, owner of Lanka Jewels and a key organizer of the event, said he was more than happy with the turnout, which was close to 100 golfers.

“Support from Toronto, Edmonton and parts of B.C., from Campbell River to Vancouver Island, showed up today,” said Selvaraja.

In addition to the proceeds garnered from the $165 entry cost, silent auctions for a signed Daniel Sedin hockey stick, Canucks Club Seat tickets for the upcoming season, Okanagan wine, diamond earrings and a custom-designed ring — provided by Lanka Jewels — were all on the docket.

Naomi Selvaraja-Fossett said the event is expected to raise between $10,000 and $20,000. Last year, $8,000 was raised.

Ted Swaine, director of corporate sales at Sandpiper Golf Course, said turnout was great for the event, which drew about 100 golfers, compared to 40 in the first year.

“I’m also glad the weather cooperated,” Swaine said.

Debbie Tonn, Fraser Valley development coordinator for Canuck Place, said the generosity of Lanka Jewels – owner Ken and his kids, Nathan and Naomi – was something truly special.

“There are no beds open at the Abbotsford hospice yet,” said Tonn. “Canuck Place must raise 80 per cent of its own operating funds.”

The goal is to have beds set up by 2017 and Tonn added this event alone would be a significant boost.

The hospice is currently providing care for seven Mission families, though Tonn said 48 per cent of children in the Canuck Place program are from the Fraser Valley area. This was also a main contributing factor for the hospice to have established an Abbotsford location in spring 2014.

Despite having no open beds, Tonn said the Abbotsford hospice provides counselling services, music therapy and therapy for siblings and parents.