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REPORTING · 20th June 2015
Walter McFarlane
On Monday, June 22nd, Steve Haggard, Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club Manager will bet taking part in the “Longest Day of Golf” To raise money for the ALS Society of British Columbia.

“I will be playing from dawn until dusk and hope to have my golf ball in the air at 4:30am and play until approximately 10:30pm." said Haggard. "People can donate by coming into the pro shop or by calling us at 250-632-4653. All donations over $20.00 receive a tax receipt."

He also provided us with the following news release on the event:

PGA of BC - Longest Day of Golf

180,044 holes played, 8 hole-in-ones made, and $1,022,240 raised.

These numbers represent the incredible success the PGA of BC Golfathon for ALS has seen since its inception in 2005. Now in its 10th year, the PGA of BC and the ALS Society of British Columbia are excited to see over 30 courses participate in this valuable tradition in 2015. Throughout the month of June, members of the PGA of BC will play golf from sunrise to sunset, at courses throughout the province, to raise money for the ALS Society of BC.

The idea originated in 2005 when a Comox-area ALS patient, Bruce Taylor, was discussing the lack of awareness surrounding the disease with his friends, Scott Fraser and Jerry Feniak. At the time, Fraser was the Head Professional at Glacier Greens Golf Club in Comox, while Feniak was a member of the Rotary Club. The trio came up with the idea of asking golf professionals to "lend" their muscles and courses for a day of golf, while enlisting the volunteer support of Rotarians. Shortly thereafter, a tradition was born. Fraser completed the first Golfathon in September '05, playing 288 holes (the equivalent of 16 rounds) and raising over $6,000 in support of the ALS Society of BC.

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive neuromuscular degenerative disease. It attacks the motor neurons that transmit electrical impulses from the brain to voluntary muscles in the body. When these muscles fail to receive messages, they lose strength, atrophy, and die. ALS can hit anyone, at any time, regardless of age, gender, or ethnic origin. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to five years. Support equipment costs an average of $137,000 per patient, while nursing and home care costs are up to 10 times that amount.

"What Golf Professionals have done to grow this program in the past 10 years is nothing short of remarkable," says Donald Miyazaki, Executive Director at the PGA of BC. "Our members are extremely giving in terms of their efforts and time for the ALS Society of BC, and they take immense pride in the Golfathon for ALS in their local community," he adds.

The ALS Society of BC is dedicated to providing direct support to ALS patients, along with their families and caregivers, to ensure the best quality of life possible while living with ALS. Through assisting research, they are committed to find the cause of and cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.