Rotary Club of West Shore raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop

A West Shore Rotary Club member unloads a box of golf balls into a crane bucket for their Golf Ball Drop fundraiser. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
A West Shore Rotary Club member uses a measuring tape to see which golf ball is closest to the prize-winning flag. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey approaches the field as a firefighter unleashes a stream of golf balls from a crane bucket during the West Shore Rotary Club’s Golf Ball Drop fundraiser. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Nearly 4,000 golf balls drop onto the Olympic View golf course Sept. 26, as part of the West Shore Rotary Club’s fundraiser. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Rain wasn’t the only thing pouring down from the sky at the Olympic View Golf Club on Saturday afternoon. Just after 2 p.m., a truck-mounted crane released 3,954 golf balls onto the green — something known as a Golf Ball Drop.

The event, organized by the Rotary Club of West Shore, was the Club’s solution to fundraising in the time of a global pandemic.

Instead of the Club’s usual Lobsterfest, it opted for an event that people could buy tickets for and watch live from home. Each ticket cost $5 and secured the buyer one numbered golf ball.

READ ALSO: West Shore Rotary Lobsterfest raises over $20,000 for memorial playground

On the green, the Club placed three flags, each one indicating a different cash value — $500, $1,000 and $3,000. When the balls plummeted to the ground, whichever was closest to each flag won the buyer the designated cash prize.

Club members were meticulous when determining the winners, whipping out a yellow measuring tape whenever they were unsure. Eventually, the three lucky winners over the live stream. The $3,000 prize went to ball number 2452, Stefano Mosi; the $1,000 prize went to number 155, Kevin Won; the $500 prize went to number 2762, Ronald Sellars.

Rotary Club treasurer, Don Rugg, said the maximum number of balls they could have dropped was 4,000, so their total of 3,954 felt quite impressive.

The number nearly doubled overnight from Friday when they had only sold about 2,000 of them. Rotary Club president, Robin Marshall, said the increase was largely due to social media attention and media coverage.

At $5 per ball, the event raised $19,770 — money that the Club plans to disperse to various community organizations that need support through the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Rotary raises more than $260k for Sarah Beckett Memorial Park

Marshall said watching the balls drop was fun but for her, the best part is yet to come.

“My favourite piece is always the next stage where we can really make those impactful decisions on how we give away this money,” she said.

Marshall added that community organizers are welcome to reach out and give a presentation on why their organization may need some of the funds.


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

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