Base golfers donate toys to sick kids

"It’s the expression of joy on the faces of the hospital staff at the Pediatric Ward when we deliver the toys. Realizing our efforts have brightened people’s lives who need it the most is so cool.” – MS Russell Blackburn, organizer of the Dave Barber Golf Tournament

“It’s the expression of joy on the faces of the hospital staff at the Pediatric Ward when we deliver the toys. Realizing our efforts have brightened people’s lives who need it the most is so cool.” – MS Russell Blackburn, organizer of the Dave Barber Golf Tournament

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer
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The Dave Barber Golf Tournament has scored another hole-in-one for the children’s ward at Victoria General Hospital. 

The annual charitable event organized by HMCS Regina is in its 22nd year. Members of the ship’s company delivered a large cache of toys and gift cards on Nov. 24 to benefit young patients in the hospital’s Child Life Department.

The tournament is named in memory of MS Dave Barber, a Fire Control Radar Technician who worked on board Regina before dying of leukemia in 1997.

This year’s nine-hole golf tournament raised $3,500 from the $60 player registration fees, private donations, and a healthy dose of assistance from the ship’s charitable fund, says tournament organizer, MS Russell Blackburn.

The golf tournament was held Sept. 23 at the Metchosin Golf Club and approximately 50 golfers took part.

“MS Barber loved golf, helping children in need and donating money to local charities. He made a tremendous impact on all the people he touched,” says MS Blackburn. “Since he thoroughly enjoyed the game of golf, it seemed fitting to conduct an annual tournament to keep his memory alive.”

The tournament was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but MS Blackburn and supporters were still able to make a smaller-sized donation to the hospital.

“It’s the expression of joy on the faces of the hospital staff at the Pediatric Ward when we deliver the toys,” he says of the toy delivery. “Realizing our efforts have brightened people’s lives who need it the most is so cool.”

MS Blackburn’s unwavering commitment to convening the tournament each year was cemented when his son was born in 2016. While visiting the hospital that year, he had a revelation.

“Delivering the toys to the hospital made me realize that having a new child going through tough times there would be unimaginable,” he says. “I just feel obligated to help them.”

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Filed Under: Top Stories

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