Two of the region’s major charities breathed a sigh of relief as businesses provided a fundraising boost by taking to the golf course for the first time in nearly two years.
Dove House Hospice and Muscular Dystrophy UK expect to receive a significant cash injection from the proceeds of the Rollits’ Charity Golf Day which took place at Brough Golf Cub and attracted 20 teams from the firm, its clients and contacts.
The charities voiced their appreciation for the support of participants and for the businesses which sponsored prizes and each of the 18 holes.
Captains of the teams told of their hope that the event – which Rollits have been sponsoring and organising for more than 30 years and has raised almost £150,000 during this time – signalled a growing confidence to get people back to work and to resume social calendars.
Brian Deehan of the East Yorkshire Branch of Muscular Dystrophy UK said: “The proceeds from this amazing 34th Annual Event organised by Rollits will continue to help fund research projects and improve care. Zolgensma, the first ever life saving gene therapy for a muscle condition, costs up to £2m for the one dose treatment. Thankfully the first baby with spinal muscular atrophy to be helped in our Region was treated at Leeds last month. We hope this is the first of many new therapies for the 70+ different types of neuromuscular conditions and this is how fundraising events like this can really make a difference to people’s lives.”
Jethro Shearring [correct], Fundraising Coordinator for Dove House, applauded Rollits for adopting an innovative approach after last year’s golf day was cancelled.
He said: “It wasn’t possible to play 18 holes of golf so they came up with other fundraising ideas around the theme of 18, and people who would never go near a golf club, were able to take part in other challenges.
“From a practical fundraising point of view the landscape of Covid has affected the way in which businesses can help because there haven’t been the numbers of people in the work place.
“Traditional forms of fundraising such as dress-down days and other activities at work have been hugely affected and we have seen a big shift into virtual fundraising with the emphasis on staff and businesses pushing events outside the work place.
“We have also been very reliant on businesses looking at what they would normally raise and making a one-off donation but that’s not really sustainable for a long period of time. There is still a sense of uncertainty around when we will be able to resume our normal fundraising activities but fortunately businesses are still finding a way to make a difference.”
Ian Jones, Managing Director of The Strata Group, led the first team to tee off. He said: “We haven’t had a corporate event for a couple of years. This is the first one since 2019 and we’ve got another coming up soon so it feels as though life is starting to get its act together again.”
Matt Dass, Joint Managing Director – Innovation, at Springfield Solutions, said: “This is only my second round of golf this year but some of our team play every week. I don’t get the opportunity to do this very often but it’s nice to get out. The invitations are starting to pick up again to events like this and to awards ceremonies and charity balls.”
Mark Smith, Finance Director of MKM Building Supplies, said: “It doesn’t feel yet as though things are picking up quickly but it’s good that today actually feels quite normal. We like to support charities and local events and it is good to see some familiar faces.”
Pat Coyle, Director of Marketing & Client Relations of Rollits said: “After the events of the last 15 months it was an absolute joy and a relief for so many reasons to be able to go ahead with our golf day, which guests have told us is their first corporate event since the summer of 2019.
“We’re so pleased with the response from businesses which have turned up to play and to sponsor the various elements of the event, and most of all we’re delighted that we were able to support two very deserving charities which have found things very difficult over the last year.
“The atmosphere throughout the day was fantastic, with a real togetherness as everybody savoured the opportunity to enjoy themselves and support two great causes. We’re already looking forward to next year and we send our best wishes to everybody else who is planning corporate events in the coming weeks and months.”