Swinging for a Cause: Raising Funds for healthcare & honouring esteemed former Fire Chief

Written by Ally Paige 

Photos by Hayden Michaels.

For the second year in a row, the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation and Swift Current Emergency Services honoured the late Fire Chief at the Second Annual Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic.

The event, which took place on Friday at Elmwood Golf Course and Chinook Golf Course, served as a fundraiser for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, the Swift Current Fire Department, and the Swift Current EMS.

Previously known as the Charity Golf Classic, the charity event was renamed last year to honour McClelland, who avidly participated in the Charity Golf Classic.

“It means so much to the foundation to have this legacy a part of us,” stated Kris Johnson, who handles design, development, and administration for the Foundation. “Darren actually played in the tournament for emergency services and the Foundation tournament years prior, and it was a tournament that he loved to be a part of. You couldn’t ask for a better legacy to have attached to this golf tournament and the foundation.”

The proceeds are put towards supporting healthcare and emergency services in the area. This year, the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation’s part of the proceeds will be used to purchase a new fetal monitor for the Cypress Regional Hospital.

“We go out and sell sponsorships, team registrations, prize donations, all that type of thing, and once that all comes in, we do 20/20 split with EMS and the fire department so it’s a 60/40 with the Foundation,” Johnson explained. “Then our funds go towards equipment we’re fundraising for at this particular time, and then the EMS and fire department designate where they are donating their funds from the profits from the tournament.”

In total, over 220 golfers participated in the Second Annual Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic. 25 teams competed at Chinook Golf Course, and 30 teams competed at Elmwood Golf Course.

man and woman smiling for the cameraKris Johnson and Fire Chief Ryan Hunter at the Second Annual Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic.

Swift Current Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Ryan Hunter, gave the opening remarks on Friday.

“It was a very special time for me,” Hunter stated. “I worked with Darren my whole career and his whole career, and I miss him dearly. I think about him every day and to get a chance to do some opening remarks and do a little bit of a toast to Darren was certainly something that I’ll cherish.”

Hunter added that McClelland’s legacy says a lot about who he was as a person.

“Darren was such a community guy, whether it was hockey or baseball or golf or any kind of community event,” he elaborated. “He was just such a happy-go-lucky guy, he was always ready to lend a hand, just an absolutely excellent person all around.”

Johnson also added that due to how quickly tickets for the event sold out, they are looking at options to expand for next year.

The total amount raised by the event is still being tallied.

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