Officials with the Staal Foundation Open golf tournament in Thunder Bay, Ont., say three charities that operate in northwestern Ontario will get over $271,000 from proceeds raised during the event.
The week-long event at Whitewater Golf Club, including the four-day professional tour stop on the Mackenzie Tour – a circuit for golfers aspiring to reach the PGA Tour – supported Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario, the Northern Cancer Fund and the Smilezone Foundation.
Johnny Ruiz, a 23-year-old from Camarillo, Calif., won the tournament, taking home $31,500 for the victory. Ruiz shot 13 under par, one shot better than runners-up Max McGreevy, Kramer Hickok and Chad Ramey.
Tbaytel was the title sponsor.
"With this being the fourth round, our family was amazed at the community's ongoing commitment to volunteer and support this event," Eric Staal, the veteran NHL-er and member of the Staal Family Foundation, was quoted as saying in a written release.
Support for kids battling cancer and their families has been a particular focus of the tournament's fundraising efforts. The event has raised a total of more than $845,000 over the past four years, organizers said. The money goes towards "regional programming, outreach, patient care and new equipment in northwestern Ontario," according to a written release.
"The support that's been directed to ensuring we have exceptional cancer care in northwestern Ontario, so our families can stay together during a cancer journey, has been nothing short of astonishing," Glenn Craig, the head of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation — the fundraising arm of the hospital — was quoted as saying.
Tournament organizers said "thousands" of spectators attended the Staal Open over the course of the week. The event is scheduled to return in July, 2018.