A few years ago Chris Wyatt’s wife, Deb Link, found herself in the battle of her life with breast cancer.
Luckily Link had its number, beating the terrible disease and becoming, not a survivor, but a victor over cancer.
However the battle was a long one, with regular trips to and from Regina in order for her to undergo her chemotherapy treatments.
But the trips got her husband, Chris Wyatt, thinking. “‘I started thinking ‘why don’t we try to raise the money for some equipment for here in Yorkton’,” mentioned Wyatt. “If we could, then maybe it would save some people the time and the hassle of getting to Regina or Saskatoon and instead have more people from the area treated in Yorkton.”
A noble idea for sure; but how could Wyatt raise the money quick enough to actually benefit the local people, knowing that the cancer treating equipment was so expensive?
And then it came to him: a golf tournament. And that was where the Tee Off on Cancer charity golf tournament was born.
In its first year, 2013, the tournament raised just under 20-thousand dollars; money that went towards the cost of cancer-fighting equipment for the Yorkton Regional Health Centre. “Last year we bought a med cart that keeps track of the chemotherapy drugs and interacts with the nurse’s laptop,” said Wyatt, continuing, “as well we bought towels for the cancer treatment lodge in Regina because the bath towels in that lodge were absolutely terrible. So we bought really nice towels for the people staying there so they have more comfort when they’re there.”
This year’s goal, however, was a little bit loftier than that of 2013.
This year Wyatt and his committee, made up of Darcy Spilchen, Evan Johnson, Deb Link, Brad and Wendy Haberman and Darren Wilson, decided that they’d purchase at least two Intravenous (I.V.) Chemotherapy drip machines for the Yorkton Regional Health Centre from the money raised, which are valued at roughly six-thousand dollars each.
And while the total amount of money they raised from the 2014 edition of the tournament has not be officially tallied yet, Wyatt feels it’s safe to say that they’ve surpassed their set goal. “We won’t know until we figure out our final numbers, but I think we raised over 20-thousand this time,” offered Wyatt, adding, “Our goal was to buy two of those I.V. chemotherapy machines and now I think we’ll be able to buy three.”
However Wyatt and company could not have raised that much money without the generosity of some 132 local golfers that took to the links in 2014, 24 more than the total of 108 from the inaugural tournament in 2013. But while 132 golfers is a strong number for the charity tournament, Wyatt expects that next year they’ll draw even more golfers and raise even more money for local cancer-fighting equipment. “I believe we’ll be full for sure next year and it’ll be the best one yet coming up in 2015.”