Charitable golfers flock to Oakwood

Story and photos by Casey Lessard

John DrakeMore than 300 golfers spent two days at Oakwood Inn, golfing for good causes and having a good time doing it.
“I’ve always believed that when people give money, I want them to have fun doing it,” says Dave Scatcherd, whose annual tournament was June 12 and 13. “With David’s help, we’ve created what I consider the finest amateur golf tournament in Ontario. Every year it fills up, so it will keep going. The money we make off it goes to wonderful causes in the area.”
Those causes include Community Living London, Community Living South Huron, the 2001 Canada Summer Games, and the Grand Bend Community Health Centre. Closest to Scatcherd’s heart is the Scatcherd Children’s Centre of Community Living London, which opened in the late 70s.
“I had a sister who was a retarded child, named Jane Scatcherd, and I just felt I’d like to do something for her. That’s how it started. My mother left some money for a home in London and I matched the money they left. We built a beautiful home for children in London just off the university property on Sarnia Road. It turned out to be a marvelous setup.”
Steve Zupko“The biggest thing is helping kids,” says tournament chair David Bartlam. “Dave’s goal from the start of this event has been to help unfortunate, disabled and mentally challenged children so we’ve tried to do that over the years as well as helping other charities. We probably average $50,000 to $75,000 going directly to charity.”
Over the years, the tournament has raised $1 million, which has been used for cars, buildings, roofs, and programs within the communities. Community Living South Huron was given some funding to build the Scatched Room, which hosts a pool table and a big screen TV where clients can relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
In addition to funds raised through the tournament, more than 100 volunteers offer their time and the course pays for staffing during the two days while the course is closed to the public.