Golfers took the top spot claiming the 2022 Ontario 4-H Foundation Annual Golf East Tournament Foundation trophy. Left to right are: Jason VanOers, Kim Turnbull, Foundation Chair, Stacey Weagant, Stephen Roster and Adam Scofield. Morin Photo

OTTAWA – Great weather and a healthy turnout of more than 100 4-H supporters made this year’s annual Ontario 4-H Foundation golf tournament a success on Thurs., June 9.

The event was held at the Anderson Links Golf Club in rural Ottawa.

The rainy week had a short break as the tournament began, and then resumed after golfers had enjoyed a day of fine golfing and had retreated to the Anderson Link Clubhouse.

The tournament is only one of the Ontario 4-H Foundation’s annual fundraising events. The master of ceremony duties were shared by foundation chair Hugh O’Neill and golf committee member Joe O’Neill.

Every summer the popular fundraising event in Ottawa receives tremendous corporate and individual support. All the funds raised go directly back into the 4-H programs that has enriched the lives of so many children and adults.

The signature sponsors for the tournament was Ontario Mutual and the golf cart sponsor was Canada Life. Both sponsors join the list of generous sponsors who supported the tournament.

The fundraising event was an opportunity for the foundation to recognize many of its members for the support they have given the 4-H movement over the years.

Lynda McCuaig, Gib Patterson and Terry Bender were recognized for their interest and support over the years of the 4-H organization and programs.

McCuaig was thrilled with the recognition the Foundation gave her.

“I was surprised,” she said.  “I had been invited by John Mayes the former treasurer to the 4-H Ontario foundation, to come to a small reception after the golf tournament. I thought it was to formally acknowledge the $100,000 that had been given to the 4-H Ontario Foundation and $100,000 to the 4-H Ontario Council by the CCEA.  And perhaps, the $ 11,000 that had been given to eleven counties in Eastern Ontario (each receiving $1,000). I did not know it was to honour my 50+ years in 4-H.”

Over the past 50 plus years that she has been involved in the 4-H movement McCuaig said she, and her husband Jim had many special moments to remember.

“High points would be the amount of benefits that I received from 4-H. I travelled to Saskatchewan for a leaders’ conference; been to the National 4-H Conference in Toronto; on one of the Queen’s visits to Ontario, I was one of several 4-H volunteers that got invited to a reception in her honour. I did not meet the Queen but was very close.”

The couple also took on roles for 4-H club members.

“My husband and I were escorts to a 4-H exchange with Alberta, and from that visit made some very good friends, Bob and Glenna Boulton. After our visit, Bob served as president of the Canadian 4-H council. Jim and I also were chaperones to an exchange with 4-H members from West Union, Ohio, another experience where we made lifelong friends with the participants.”

She also received the 125th Anniversary of Confederation Medal from 4-H Ontario for her involvement with 4-H.

She said, “4-H has provided me with many opportunities and adventures that I am happy and proud to have had.”

Another long-time supporter of 4-H is Gib Patterson owner of the Anderson Link Golf Club and successful farmer and real estate developer.

He credits his success to the lessons he learned in the 4-H program as a youngster.

He said, “I have been a 4-H member all of my life. I started when I was 15 years old.”

He said he likes being able to help the Ontario 4-H Foundation keep the 4-H program healthy.

He said 4-H is responsible for at least 50 per cent of his success as an adult and the other 50 per cent to his parents. He said I have had a wonderful life as a result.

“4-H taught me how to think on my feet, speak publicly and make decisions. That is what you learn from judging cattle and grain.” Patterson and his brother were champion potato judges in Canada in 1955.

“4-H teaches you about animal care and animal health and the correct varieties of grain to grow, the chemicals to keep crops and animals healthy. It’s a wonderful program.”

He thanked the tournament organizers for the support they have always shown for the 4-H program.

Patterson taught high school in Metcalfe and at the same time learned about the real estate industry and began building a golf driving range. Later would come his golf course building career with the Emerald Links Golf and Country Club in 1990. Cloverdale Links Golf Course in 1996 and the Anderson Links Golf and Country Club in 2007.

Rhiannah Gallagher is a 4-H ambassador. She is involved mostly with sheep and beef farming. She said a few words at the end of the tournament describing why 4-H was so important to rural young people today.

“4-H is a really big part of my life and I know a lot of people benefit from it. I would not be on the career path I am on today if not for 4-H.

She thanked the tournament organizers for the support they have always shown for the 4-H program.

She said the 4-H programs were great for providing hands-on learning and leadership development.

For over 20 years, the Ontario 4-H Foundation has worked to ensure the long-term financial health of the 4-H program in Ontario.

We are a federally incorporated non-profit charity. Our mission is to attract, manage, and grow endowment funds. Trustees of the Ontario 4-H Foundation are committed to sound financial management in order to ensure that 4-H is forever in Ontario. We do this by:

Managing and growing an endowment fund;

Supporting local associations by managing investments on their behalf;

Giving directly to the 4-H Council each year to support programs and events;

Giving to members and associations directly through our donor-sponsored funds, which support specific goals, such as scholarships;

Through sound fiscal management, the foundation manages approximately $2.8 million. Our objective is an annual return of 5 per cent. For the past ten years, we have met or exceeded that goal.

Our annual income comprises investment returns, donations, and revenue generated through our annual golf tournaments.

In 2019, the foundation returned 85 per cent of its income to support 4-H in Ontario through direct transfers to the Ontario 4-H Council for program support and through re-investment for the long-term growth of endowed funds.