Hospitality works both ways with Bear Mountain golf tournament

The B.C. Hospitality Foundation is hosting its first Memorial Golf Tournament to raise money to support people in the hospitality industry.

A golf tournament being held at Bear Mountain is looking to raise money for those who so often lend a hand for others.

The B.C. Hospitality Foundation is hosting its first Memorial Golf Tournament to raise money to support people in the hospitality industry who fall into financial difficulties, usually as a result of health issues.

“It’s really the only charity that helps people in our own industry,” said Natahan Pearce, chair of the golf committee. “We do a lot in our communities for other people. … We’re always putting out, doing things for these other charities, but in our industry we don’t do a lot for ourselves.”

Pearce, also the director of food and beverage at Fairmont Empress Hotel, said often people in the industry aren’t properly insured or don’t have full benefits if they work for some of the smaller businesses. When an ailment hits it can be a hard time for many.

“Here the foundation isn’t really known about, not a lot of people talk about it,” Pearce said. “Even though it has some of the most beneficiaries, dollar wise. We help out a lot of people on the Island.”

Over the past six years the organization has provided approximately $250,000 in support to over 40 people, including people in Victoria, Nanaimo and other Island locations.

Recently the organization helped out Victoria’s Driftwood Brewery head brewer Tim Fukushima with a cheque for $3,000, after a Leukemia diagnosis in February. Sara Craig, a chef at the Harbour Towers Hotel and Suites in Victoria, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011 and received aid to the tune of $13,000 from the foundation.

All funds given by the foundation match money earned through fundraising by the individual or the business where they work.

The tournament is also a memorial, with many holes dedicated to people from the industry who have died.

Many members of management and general managers from local hotels will be taking part in the tournament, along with anybody else who wants to take part. Registration is open until Sept. 15 and can be done online at bchospitalityfoundation.com.

The tournament is on Monday, Sept. 16, with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The cost is $145 per golfer or $499 for a foursome, which includes a golf cart, barbecue and prizes.