As the recent economic impact report indicated, Canadian golf makes a positive contribution to society through its charitable work and Ginny Golding, a Class A PGA of Canada professional at Vancouver’s University Golf Club is contributing to that reputation.
On June 23, Golding will celebrate her 65th birthday by playing 65 holes of golf to raise money to help educate girls in Kenya and Tanzania through the Canadian Harambee Education Society.
“There’s an African saying that goes, `If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family,’” said Golding.
“I have seen first-hand how Harambee has changed the lives of thousands of women and I want to help grow those thousands into tens of thousands, so we can change whole communities,” she said.
Six years ago, Golding was inspired by the CBC documentary, Educating Margaret, about a bright young girl in Kenya who was denied the right to a high school education because her family was too poor to pay for it.
Through the generosity of one Canadian teacher, Lorrie Williams founder of the Canadian Harambee Education Society and her own quest for leadning, Margaret went on to graduate high school and secure a full scholarship to university to study nursing.
That story inspired Golding to volunteer countless hours with CHES and co-chair the Harambee Charity Golf Classic â€“ an annual charity event that has raised over $157,000 for CHES.
This year marks Golding’s 30th as a golf professional in B.C., a career that saw her become the first female member of the PGA of British Columbia, but retirement doesn’t seem to be in her immediate future.
“I have been so fortunate in my life to be able to play golf and be supported by other women in my pursuit of a fulfilling career in this great sport,” she said.
“Now, at 65 I want to give back to girls who do not have the privileges we have here in Canada. I invite all those who have shared my journey to this milestone to now join me in helping educate women so they can be catalysts for change in their communities,” she added.
That dedication earned her the full support of the club where she teaches.
“When Ginny first approached me with her idea of playing 65 holes on her 65th birthday and raising $65,000 for Harambee, it was automatic for me to give her the green light,” said Michael Mather, general manager of the University Golf Club.
“This initiative is a perfect example of who Ginny is as a person and as a golf professional. Everyone associated with the University Golf Club is in full support of her plan. My job now, is to make certain that Mother Nature cooperates and gives her a nice, dry day on June 23rd,” he said.
In keeping with the theme, Golding is hoping to raise $65,000 for the cause and is about $8,000 short of that goal. For more information on sponsorship, click here.