Organizers of a golf tournament taking place in Sylvan Lake this August are hoping the event will bring urgent care back to the fore.
‘Golf for Urgent Care’ is being organized by the Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee for August 14 at Meadowlands Golf Club.
The event will act as a fundraiser for urgent care, with proceeds going toward the eventual purchase of medical equipment.
But with the recent loss of a pre-election promise of urgent care, the tournament is about much more than raising money, according to Urgent Care Committee chair Susan Samson. Rather, she feels it will give the community a chance to rally once again behind a crucial cause.
“I think everybody was so excited back in March, and now that excitement is not there,” she said. “If we have 144 golfers out, that’s 144 more people we can talk to, and you get the conversation rolling again.”
Samson said talks surrounding urgent care have been ongoing between members of the committee, Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre and Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don MacIntyre.
The aim is to bring the matter to the attention of the province’s newly-elected government, and to find out whether the pre-election promise of an urgent care facility still holds any validity.
That task, Samson feels, would be carried out most effectively through joint lobbying with the the Town of Beaverlodge and the City of Airdrie, who were also part of a pre-election urgent care announcement.
As of earlier this week, she said, plans were in place to have MLA MacIntyre and MLAs of other stakeholder areas discuss the matter with provincial health minister Sarah Hoffman, and to invite her to visit the area to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the matter.
“I think you often don’t understand what’s happening on the ground unless you’re here and get a sense of what the community is, how busy the beach can be on a nice day and how large the surrounding area is,” said Samson.
Work carried out by the committee and the community over the past several years is still very much valid, she added.
“What we feel very strongly about is the work has been done,” she said. “The feasibility studies, the needs assessment, the discussion with the various interested parties within our communities — everybody from Victim Services, RCMP, fire, mental health workers, social workers — we’ve had discussions with them all. The business plan has been done … and so what we have to do is raise that awareness with the new government.”
Tickets and sponsorships for the golf tournament in August are now available. Registration can be completed online at donate.dthealthtrust.com/sylvangolf, and sponsorship information may be obtained by contacting Klaas Van Veller at 403-887-3776, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“(The golf tournament) gives us a real opportunity to get back front and centre,” said Samson. “If the province doesn’t recognize the need in Sylvan Lake, then we have to ramp it up amongst our citizens, and to do that they need to be aware of where we are at right now.”
To date, about $66,000 has been raised toward the purchase of medical equipment for an anticipated urgent care facility. Organizers of the golf tournament have set a $20,000 fundraising target for that event.