Hearn boosts Alzheimer research
David Hearn was at the Brantford Golf and Country Club on Monday to boost efforts to combat Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s something that has affected members of my family – my grandmother and great-grandmother,” Hearn said. “There are a lot of families out there who have been affected by it, as well, and so today is all about raising funds for research and awareness.”
The David Hearn Foundation Charity Classic golf tournament raises money that supports both the Alzheimer Society Canada and Alzheimer Society Foundation Brant Haldimand Norfolk Hamilton and Halton.
“It’s an awesome feeling to be in a position where you can set up a foundation that will benefit a lot of people,” Hearn said. “That’s something that players on the PGA Tour do.
“They donate money to charities in communities after tournaments. That’s part of what we’re all about.”
This year’s classic attracted 145 golfers and was expected to raise around $150,000.
Brantford’s Hearn spent the tournament hitting tee shots from No. 8 with all the golfers playing in the fundraising tournament. Players had the opportunity to chat with Hearn and try to best him with a closest-to-the-hole shot.
At least one golfer managed to do just that.
Matt Johnston, who was visiting from Winnipeg as part of a corporate team, had a nice arching shot from the tee, which brought a smile to Hearn’s face.
“Well, he (Johnston) is a golfer,” Hearn said. “He played on the Canadian Tour for a while.”
In addition to the golf classic, the David Hearn Foundation has its own David Hearn wine label, a junior series golf competition, and foundation hats with proceeds going to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. There is also the Foundation KIA grant which encourages junior golfers to give back to their communities.
The golf tournament has a large number of sponsors and features a live auction that includes a chance to caddy for Hearn at the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The package includes dinner with Hearn, two round-trip flight vouchers provided by WestJet and VIP tickets for all four rounds of the tournament.
Participants also had a chance to bid on a large number of items in a silent auction that included a Toronto Raptors jersey signed by Demar Derozan and a signed flag from the 2017 RBC Canadian open.
“We’re fortunate to have terrific support from so many different sponsors,” Hearn said. “They’re a big part of making this event a success every year.”
Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible and destroys brain cells, causing thinking ability and memory to deteriorate. It is not a normal part of aging.
There are 56,000 Canadians with dementia receiving care in hospitals, even though this is not an ideal location for care, and 564,000 Canadians currently living with dementia. The number of Canadians living with the disease is expected to rise to 937,000 in 15 years.
An estimated 1.1 million Canadians are affected directly or indirectly by Alzheimer’s. The annual cost of caring for those living with dementia is estimated to be $10.4 billion.