The sun shone, the golf was good, and the generosity flowed. The inaugural Jake Allen Celebrity Classic was a success.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way our event turned out, for the first year,” says St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen. “We have raised more money than I could have imagined.”
Allen’s dream of hosting a charity golf tournament in his hometown became a reality, on July 13th and 14th, at Kingswood Park Golf Course.
144 golfers turned out for the first of what Allen plans on making an annual event. They joined more than a dozen celebrity golfers, including Allen’s Blues’ teammates Robby Fabbri, Robert Bortuzzo and Joel Edmundson, Miramichier Brad Malone, who recently signed with the Washington Capitals, and Florida Panthers forward Logan Shaw.
Along with some very generous corporate sponsors, they raised $115,000 dollars for three New Brunswick charities.
The exact distribution of the tournament’s proceeds will be announced shortly.
“That’s something that will benefit the local community and the province,” says Allen.
That money will be channeled through Allen’s non-profit organization, Program 34.
“I’m extremely proud of the event, and cannot wait to do this again next summer.”
Part of the total raised is the value of hockey equipment, being donated by the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s “Dreams and Goals” Fund, and Allen’s official equipment supplier, Vaughn.
The NHLPA has donated 30 complete sets of player gear, while Vaughn has donated 15 sets of goalie equipment.
The combined donations are valued at approximately $65,000.
The Fredericton Youth Hockey Association will get 15 of the player equipment sets and 13 goalie gear kits, while the St. Stephen Minor Hockey Association will get 15 sets of player gear and 2 complete goalie kits.
The Alzheimer’s Society of New Brunswick and Kingswood’s Turnaround Achievement Awards will receive donations from the tournament, but the exact amount of those donations isn’t known yet.
Regardless, the acting executive director of the Alzheimer’s Society of New Brunswick, says the money is coming at a good time.
“Alzheimer’s is, really, taking over our health care system, and we’re struggling to catch up,” says Ken McGeorge. “This is personal for Jake, and this is quite significant.”
Allen recently lost his grandfather to Alzheimer’s.
McGeorge says the Program 34 gift, as a result of the golf tournament, will help families cope with situations similar to the one Allen and his family endured.
“We’re doing some fascinating programs to support families, here in New Brunswick, dealing with Alzheimer’s, programs specifically designed for people dealing with dementia. How we deploy the funds in those initiatives has yet to be determined, but it will be somewhere in that mix.”
While Allen’s name was on the tournament, he acknowledges, it wouldn’t have happened without the work of an entire team.
“It was a lot of work, by some great committee members who have the same mentality as me, towards raising funds for our community and giving back.”
“Kingswood did an amazing job of hosting the event along with our other great sponsors,” says Allen.
He says plans are already in the works for the second Jake Allen Celebrity Classic, but details won’t be announced until later.
“It’ll be bigger and better, and we’ll look to raise even more money.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Smith Photo & Graphic