Student Golf Tournament Swings Big for Rural Health

Southern Medical Program students (L-R) Brendan Lim, Talia Del Medico, Brianna Creelman, Conor Barrie, Allyssa Hooper, and Brayden Fishbook along with Scotiabank Business Advisor Christy St. Jean present a cheque to Hope Air patient ambassador Ty.

Nearly 100 golfers and guests participated in the eighth annual Southern Medical Program (SMP) Student Golf Tournament in support of rural health.

Organized by members of the SMP Class of 2022, the tournament brought together members and friends of the Okanagan medical community for nine holes of golf, tons of prizes, dinner, and a silent auction. In partnership with the event’s title sponsor Scotiabank, the students raised over $20,000 for Hope Air to help patients.

Hope Air is Canada’s only national charity providing free travel and accommodations for Canadians in financial need who must access medical care far from home. In 2019, the charity arranged 1,763 flights for patients to attend vital medical appointments and treatments in and out of Kelowna alone.

“Our organizing committee was thrilled to set a new fundraising record for this event,” says Brendan Lim, second-year medical student. “We’re truly grateful to help support patients from rural communities access the care they need.”

“The funds raised will provide approximately 81 flights for people to attend the medical appointments that will save their lives and diagnoses that will give them answers,” says Alanna Scott, Hope Air, Vice President of Development. “The generous support from the student golf tournament demonstrates a remarkable commitment to the health of patients.”

The students would like to thank Scotiabank and the numerous other local Okanagan companies for individual hole sponsorships and donating silent auction items. The next tournament will be held in the fall of 2020.