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Chance for Kids tournament funds Olympic ambitions

Organization hope fundraiser hits the $40K mark second time around

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The Second Annual Chance for Kids golf tournament is set for Saturday, May 13 at Pemberton’s Big Sky Golf and Country Club. Proceeds from the event go directly to supporting young athletes. Last year the event raised more than $25,000 for the independent non-profit.

"This year we’re aiming for $40,000," said Lonne Cark, Chance for Kids board member.

That figure is good news for young athletes in the Sea to Sky corridor. All proceeds raised go directly to the society, which in turn helps aspiring young athletes by offsetting travel, training, coaching and related sports expenses. The society’s mandate is to help "talented youth hit the podium at world class events, and maybe even an Olympic podium in 2010."

This past February, at Pemberton’s Winter Festival dance, a Chance for Kids awarded four corridor athletes grants of $4,000. It’s the organization's intention to fund the four again in the 2006-07 year, as well as add a couple more athletes to their roster.

The criteria for selection take into account factors other than financial need, including ranking and performance.

The first recipients of the Chance for Kids grants included Nordic skier Sidney van Loon, paddler Heather Hellavang, and cyclist Will Routley and Neil Kindree.

Clark said that the organizers were delighted with the variety of sports the recipients represented as well as the fact that they came from Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.

"We didn’t plan it that way, but it’s great the way it worked out."

The golf tournament is shamble style, with a maximum of 120 players allowed on the course.

"Any more and it just gets a little too slow," said Clark.

Regardless of where teams place, everyone will get a shot at the prizes, a great number of which will be awarded through draws. And, of course, still other prizes will be available through the auction. Among the prizes are numerous golf trips, artwork and jewelry.

Registration fees for golfers are $135 and include a round of gold, golf cart rental, use of practice facilities, lunch and dinner. Non-golfers are welcome to attend the dinner and auction at a cost of $35. Registration forms are available on-line at www.pembertonchamber.com. The tournament has a one o’clock shotgun

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