Canadian country singer Gord Bamford is back again to host a unique charity golf classic and gala, an event that has been going strong for seven years.
The two-day event features an extravagant gala at the Sheraton Hotel Exhibition Hall in Red Deer on the evening of Aug. 13th. The golf tournament will see 42 teams playing at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club on Aug. 14th.
Last year, over $355,000 was raised through the Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation, which put the money earned just shy of $1.5 million.
“We just want to have an opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives and be able to use my success to raise money for different sorts of associations,” said Bamford.
“Ninety-five per cent is catered to youth and children, which is a big part of my life. I just want to do something good and give back to the people that are in need and make a difference.”
The event is highly successful, with many of its attendees returning year after year. The invitation-only gala will host over 750 people, including big names such as Canadian country star Aaron Pritchett, Nashville songwriter Buddy Owens, NHL legend Curtis Glencross and iconic Canadian rock band Trooper.
“At the end of it, it’s amazing how we seem to keep raising more and more money. It’s always amazing to be able to take part in all of the stories that we come across or we get to share at the gala,” said Bamford.
“When you get to see how it really changes things for (the recipients of donations), it can get pretty emotional at times, but it’s great to see. It just wouldn’t happen without all the support we have, and it’s been tremendous that way.”
The organizations that receive the donations of funds raised include the Make a Wish Foundation, children’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald House and Big Brothers & Big Sisters.
Bamford said that it is difficult to set a goal for monetary donations, but that he hopes they will equal or surpass last year’s total.
He adds that each year organizers try to make the event bigger and better, especially for the people that have been attending the event since its inception seven years ago.
“We raise a lot of money and have a great core of people involved. It’s a sought after event, and any time you have that kind of demand for something it feels great. As far as a goal goes, we’re just trying to keep going and keep improving.” This event is unique from most golf classic style tournaments in that thanks to Bamford’s entertainment career, he is able to draw in big names that are able to provide entertainment and donate generously.
He says he feels like the event is definitely moving in the right direction after seeing the immense support that it carries year after year.
“I really can’t tell you how it’s gotten to be where it is – I kind of shake my head every day. It’s still doing great things and hopefully will continue to do that.”
Bamford is also fortunate this year to have received several nominations for the Canadian Country Music Awards, which will be awarded on Sept. 7th live from Rexall Hall in Edmonton.
Born in Australia in 1976, Bamford moved to Canada with his mother at the age of five, spending his formative years near Lacombe.
In 1995 he won one of Alberta’s largest talent contests, the Nornet Radio Network ‘Search for the Stars’.
Early influences included Alan Jackson, George Strait, Johnny Cash – and the times when Garth Brooks was taking stadium tours to unprecedented heights. He then teamed up with Rob Bartlett from Sundae Sound in Calgary to record his debut single Forever Starts Today which earned positive raves from Canadian radio in 1996.
By 2000, he was ready to record his first CD – God’s Green Earth – at Sound Edge Productions.