Local ambassadors for multiple sclerosis, Gail and Barry Taylor, donated a cheque to the Lloydminster Jayman Built MS Walk on Sept. 8, marking the last donation for this year’s campaign. The $25,000 donation, raised though the Taylors’ fifth annual Golf Fore MS event, brought the walk’s total funds raised to over $188,000.
“To put things into context, last year we had a record year raising over $200,000. I think we’re all aware of the economic realities that have hit this community pretty hard this year and when you consider $188,000, it’s a pretty short distance between this year and last year’s record,” said Johanna Green, Lakeland regional director for the MS Society of Canada. “It’s a pretty phenomenal accomplishment for this community in spite of all of the challenges that we know people have faced.”
Gail Taylor says funds raised at the golf tournament were down around $12,000 from last year, also due to the current western economy, and with all things considered she was pleasantly surprised by the turn out. Taylor started the Golf Fore MS tournament five years ago as a one-off event to help raise money for the MS walk, and due to the success of the event, has been hosting it annually ever since.
“I mentioned that we should put on a golf tournament and my husband thought I was crazy. It was going to be a one time thing, and I have MS, and I thought it would just help out with the walk team to raise money,” said Gail. “After the first one everybody said, ‘Well, we’re on for next year.’ And now we’re getting ready for the sixth (one) next year.”
The 2015 tournament took place on June 20 and saw 72 golfers tough it out through a morning of pouring rain to help with the cause. Gail says she and her husband would like to thank all of the golfers who participated, the sponsors, and all of the volunteers who helped the event be a success.
The Lloydminster MS Society also took the opportunity to introduce Green’s replacement, Lacey Flichel, who will be assuming the role of Lloydminster chapter manager and be responsible as head of fundraising and administration, as Green will become the director of the northern region. This will be Flichel’s first time working with the society and she says she is excited to take on the new job.
“I have a couple personal ties with MS, friends of the family,” she said.
“But I (also) have a passion for helping others and I think that working with the MS Society, I’ll be able to fill that need.”
Flichel is a former recreational therapist who worked as a recreation manager at a long-term care centre in Edmonton and says she is now excited to put in the time and see her efforts make a difference in people’s lives in Lloydminster. Green will still take on regional responsibilities and what was previously called the Lakeland region will be absorbed into the bigger northern region for the MS Society.