Goldcorp Invitational makes a difference for Special Olympics BC athletes

SOBC athlete James Clifford joins Michael Campbell at the 2018 Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournment.
SOBC athlete James Clifford joins Michael Campbell at the 2018 Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournment.

Held on June 28, this year’s Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament was a wonderful and inspiring day of golf that truly makes a difference to athletes like Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford’s James Clifford.

The event’s athlete reporter and co-emcee for the evening portion of the event, Clifford told the sold-out crowd of golfers how “the support of the Goldcorp Invitational creates life-changing experiences for me and more than 4,800 Special Olympics BC athletes throughout the province. I’m glad to be here to share my experiences and tell you how grateful I am for your support.”

Now in its 12th year, the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament has become one of the Lower Mainland’s premier golf events. It involves two simultaneous tournaments on the outstanding Northview Golf & Country Club courses, and in the evening participants had the opportunity to enjoy a high-quality banquet dinner, a magician, silent and live auctions, and inspiring speeches.

Goldcorp has been the tournament’s title sponsor for over a decade and is a significant ongoing partner of SOBC, dedicated to bringing opportunities into the lives of children, youth, and adults with intellectual disabilities. Goldcorp has helped enrich lives across B.C. through two gifts of $1 million to support SOBC programs.

“At Goldcorp we really believe in making a difference in the communities where we operate,” said Kathryn Gendall, a Goldcorp employee and one of 42 incredible volunteers who gave their time to support the event. “It really is a pleasure to support a great organization like Special Olympics and come out on a day like today.”

Out on the course, Goldcorp President & CEO David Garofalo presented SOBC – Langley athlete Christian Burton with a very special gift: a gold-coloured golf ball. “It made me feel awesome,” said Burton.

Watch Burton’s interview with Clifford in the 2018 Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament video below:

That evening, Garofalo reminded participants of the impact that SOBC has on the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities. “It’s not just about the athletics,” he told the crowd. “It teaches them life skills that improve their quality of life generally. It’s about their nutrition, their lifestyle, it’s preparing them for life, not just the sports – and I think they do a tremendous job in that regard.”

Attendees also heard inspiring words from SOBC – Abbotsford coach and SOBC Region 3 Coordinator Donna Bilous and her daughter, two-time SOBC Athletic Achievement Award winner and 2017 Special Olympics Canada Female Athlete of the Year Paige Norton, who wowed the attendees with her athletic and personal accomplishments.

SOBC athlete Paige Norton speaks at the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament dinner.
SOBC athlete Paige Norton speaks at the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament dinner.

“Special Olympics is so much more than the travel, the awards, and medals,” Norton said. “With your support, programs like Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership have helped to build my confidence to speak at events, raising the profile of Special Olympics in my community.”

Norton also spoke about the significant impact Special Olympics has made on her health. Born with Down syndrome and a number of health issues, she had her first heart surgery at just five months old, and open-heart surgery at three years old. Norton and her family were told that she would need additional surgery as she grew older.

“Imagine how happy and surprised my parents where when, at 13 years old, my cardiologist told us he didn’t feel I would need any further surgery. He said my healthy lifestyle, sports, and my training have given me a strong heart.”

But for Norton, “the most important thing that Special Olympics brings to my life is friends and the feeling of belonging. A place for people to accept me, and for me to be the best that I can be.”

Thanks to support from events like the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament, Special Olympics BC is able to offer life-changing programs and opportunities to more than 4,800 athletes in 55 communities across the province. These programs help empower athletes to enrich their lives and find joy, confidence, and fulfilment – on the playing field and in life.

Goldcorp Invitational Chair and co-emcee Michael Campbell told golfers: “I’m thrilled to see the support of this tournament, and I can’t think of a more worthy group of individuals and families who deserve your support and the time you’ve taken to be here today.”

We are deeply grateful for the continued support of our generous sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor: Goldcorp
Greens Sponsor: Wheaton Precious Metals
Silver Sponsors: BMO Capital MarketsCanaccord GenuityCassels BrockCIBCScotiabankTD Securities
Banquet Sponsor: Deloitte
Putting Contest Sponsor: Ernst & Young LLP
Cart Sponsor: Fluor Canada
Beverage Cart Sponsor: Fort Capital
Driving Range Sponsor: GMP Securities
Beverage Tent Sponsor: Macquarie
Bag Drop Sponsor: McIver Capital Management of Canaccord Genuity
Registration Sponsor: National Bank Financial
Media Sponsor: Postmedia
Tee Gift Sponsor: RBC Capital Markets