Last year’s Tom Harris Charity Classic at the Nanaimo Golf Club. ( courtesy Tom Harris Community Foundation)

Charity golf game continues Tom Harris’s community legacy

Tom Harris Charity Classic is June 21 at the Nanaimo Golf Club

Tom Harris would have loved the Tom Harris Charity Classic golf tournament. Not the golf part – that wasn’t really his thing – but he did like raising money for charity, says his son, Tony Harris.

The Tom Harris Charity Classic event returns to the Nanaimo Golf Club on June 21. Tony Harris hopes to carry on and build on the momentum of last year’s inaugural event, which raised $250,000.

“The event was sold out; all of our volunteer opportunities were oversubscribed, and the event was fantastic,” he said. “It was, as I understand it, the No. 1 one-day charity event north of the Malahat that the Island’s had.”

He said the golf tournament was started to give his father’s friends, colleagues and acquaintances an opportunity to get together, share in camaraderie and most importantly, give back.

“I was well aware of the impact that my dad had had on this community and the surrounding communities over the years, particularly with his philanthropic work and that was something that was bred into me from my early years,” Tony Harris said.

The Tom Harris Community Foundation, working with the Nanaimo Foundation, was able to support more than half a dozen different causes in its first year, including Nanaimo Community Hospice Society, Crossroads Pregnancy Centre, Nanaimo Men’s Centre, Vancouver Island University Foundation, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre and others.

RELATED: Foundations support community projects and programs in Nanaimo region

This year’s Tom Harris Charity Classic will again consist of lunch, 18 holes of golf, a cocktail reception, dinner and a live auction, and fireworks at the end of the night. Many prizes will be up for grabs.

Tony Harris said while registration for golfing is filled up, people can add their name to a wait list. There are still dinner tickets available and a need for a few more volunteers. He also hopes people will visit the website and consider donating directly to the foundation, to help continue the community work that Tom Harris is remembered for, and would want to see.

“If we can kind of amplify that and keep that alive, that legacy can serve our community for a long time,” Tony Harris said.

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