St Catherine’s Golf Society raise thousands for local hospice

Published: 26 Jun 2020

A golf society set up to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice didn’t let coronavirus put a stop to their incredible fundraising. When their planned golf day at Hever Castle was cancelled, Duncan Ponikwer and Dave Owen took their fundraising online, and held an impressive auction for their golfers instead. 

Golfers donated their original golf day fees and bid generously on the auction, raising nearly £5,000 for their local hospice. 

The auction, which ran for six weeks, included a signed football by the Chelsea squad, four balls at various golf clubs, and a presentation bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whiskey. 

Duncan said, “At the golf society, we were only too well aware that St Catherine’s finances have been challenged by coronavirus and the cancellation of many of their usual events. It was fantastic to see so many members bidding very generously on our auction lots. We were lucky to have some fantastic prizes and we are grateful to everyone who donated items. We’re also grateful to all members who bid and donated their original golfing day fees to the hospice. It’s fantastic to donate such a brilliant amount to St Catherine’s during a time that’s particularly challenging.” 

The St Catherine’s golfing society has been going for 20 years and provides a safe environment for people to play golf with colleagues or clients. Duncan said, “I first started supporting St Catherine’s when I worked at Barclays in Crawley in 1999. I’d been involved with golf societies previously and noticed that the hospice didn’t have one, so I asked if they’d like me to set a golf society up. It’s grown since then to become one of the largest golf societies in the South East. We hold four events a year and can have up to 120 people at each one. We’re delighted that last year we raised £24,000 to support the hospice. 

Now golf courses are open again we’re continuing to fundraise. We held our first event since coronavirus began yesterday at Woodcote Park, and there are events planned at Betchworth Park in October, and Tandridge Golf Club in November. Like with everything, our events have had to adapt slightly but we’re proud to still offer people a great day out golfing. Next year, it’s our society’s 21st birthday so we’re also starting to plan some big celebrations for that.” 

Tom Abbott, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at St Catherine’s said, “Duncan, Dave and the members of the St Catherine’s Golf Society are long-standing supporters of our hospice. Their incredible fundraising has always been important, and very much appreciated by us all at St Catherine’s, but their recent efforts fundraising for us online, after their original event was cancelled, were particularly appreciated. We need our community’s support, now more than ever, to continue to provide local people with hospice care and support. It’s only thanks to the help of people in our community that we can do that. The money the golf society have raised will make a huge difference.”

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