The 15th anniversary SANTA Amateur Charity Golf Tournament was launched last Friday at a transformed 18th hole of the Constant Spring Golf and Country Club.
The event coincided with the presentation of the newly renovated course and clubhouse for the tournament, which started yesterday and ends today.
SANTA, which is an acronym for ‘Seeing A Need, Taking Action’, was conceived as a means of raising funds to support a variety of charitable causes. Since 2001, some $30 million in cash, time, materials and equipment has been contributed. Approximately $3million is expected to be raised in support of this year’s charities: The Wortley Home, Boys’ Town Infant & Primary School, Sickle Cell Trust, and Laws Street Trade Training Centre. During the launch, cheques in the amount of $1 million were presented to the Wortley Home and $300,000 to the Sickle Cell Foundation, respectively.
Addressing the launch, Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill praised the organisers and the principals of the club in staging the tournament.
“Not only is golf an important element of the tourism mix, the development of a nation is measured by the presence of green areas and recreation spaces such as this one,” the minister said. He also spoke of the ongoing development of Kingston as a visitor destination, with the opening of new properties as the Mariott, and the work now proceeding to renovate the former Hilton Kingston.
President of the Constant Spring Golf Club Nigel Davy thanked the sponsors for their dedication, as well as the participants. Addressing the work done on the property, he said, “This is only the beginning. We aim to complete the renovation work by the first quarter of 2016.”
The SANTA Charity Golfing event is presented with the support of the CB Facey Foundation (the charity arm of Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust), the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Heineken, Jamaica Broilers, Jamaica National, RJR Group, Proven Investments, ICWI, BCIC, JMMB, Hot Off the Press, Whistling Frog, Power 106, The Gleaner, and other sponsors.
Heineken provided a welcome hospitality bar to complement Friday evening’s putting contest on the green of the 18th hole.