Charity golf event success

June 08, 2017

With a score of 54 points, locals Peter Savy, Tim Clarke, Evan Droop and Dave Crosswell won the Ambrose 4s.

Richard Hogg, Rachel Bovenizer, Doug Hawkins, Pat Randall and Dario Prighel at the gala auction dinner.

Four days at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, three days of golf, presentations, a special gala auction, special guest speaker Doug Hawkins and selling of wonderful memorabilia meant home palliative care on the Mornington Peninsula received a financial boost last week.

Established in 1984, Peninsula Home Hospice (PHH) is an accredited not-for-profit community palliative care organisation, based in Frankston.

For the second consecutive year, PHH held its charity golf classic golf in Yarrawonga/Mulwala and event organiser Pat Randall was delighted with the outcome.

“Last year we raised $21,000 and we are hoping for $40,000 this year,” she told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

After last Sunday week’s registration, 52 players took to the Lake and Murray Courses for 4BBB Medley on Monday and Tuesday, and a four-person Ambrose event Wednesday before the highlight gala auction of the charity Peninsula Golf Classic.

Pat welcomed everyone “over a great dinner”.  “I’m so pleased to see so many friends join us, or join us again this year to play on these fabulous courses,” she told diners.

Thanks were expressed by Pat to Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort’s marketing manager Anna Barnes, to the Board of Directors, Paul Squires of Buller Wines, Callaway Golf, BMW Shepparton and all other sponsors for ensuring the event was a success.

PHH’s Chief Executive Officer Rachel Bovenizer dispelled some myths about palliative care. “Palliative Care is everybody’s business,” she said. “It’s keeping people at home in line with their wishes, helping people to live well. We have some highly skilled staff and a huge team of volunteers.

“In the last 12 months we’ve looked after 820 people. The golf has raised money to meet the needs of people in different ways. We hire and purchase equipment for people to stay at home. The Government meets about 80 per cent of our costs so we have a big gap.”

The CEO expressed her appreciation of the nine-member PHH Charity Golf Classic team “for organising a wonderful event”.

Apart from the beforehand silent auction of wonderful memorabilia in the foyer, a live auction of 13 other major items, plus some significant Team of the Century jumpers by that champion No. 7, went under the gavel of local golfer and auctioneer, Andrew Shell on the Wednesday night. Other great noise came from entertainer Glenn Starr who sang those great old hits from the 60s.

Earlier, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club President Dario Prighel was pleased to see a bigger attendance this year. “Let’s hope it keeps getting bigger,” he said.

“It’s getting better with the quality of guest speakers, going from St Kilda (last year’s was Cowboy Neale) to the Western Bulldogs.”

Footscray/Western Bulldogs champion Doug Hawkins, 57, had the big Willow Room in stitches with his talk, which included an invitational run to join Clive Palmer’s political party four years ago to mainly football.

Named vice captain in Footscray’s Team of the Century, the five-time Victorian representative and three-season captain of Footscray was so popular and respected at Whitten cum Western Oval he had a wing at the ground named after him.   

The enormously talented wingman joined the Bulldogs at 17-years-of-age and played 329 games with last year’s premiers, breaking the record held by the greatest player of all time, Ted Whitten, then another 21 with Fitzroy - where he collected another six Brownlow Medal votes after the Doggies parted company with him - retiring on 350 games. Early in his career, Essendon dangled big money in front of him. But he stayed with the club he loved.

“To me, to break the late and great Teddy Whitten’s record was so very special - that was my grand-final,” Doug said.

“My late Mum Thelma was my best friend. She’s been gone 12 years and I think about her every day. She’d say to me: ‘Dougie, don’t take yourself too seriously because life is very short’.”

A TV regular on NITV’S popular Marngrook Footy Show, Doug reeled off many lighter moments from his early days at school in Braybrook sitting beside great and funny mate Russel Gilbert to playing then being in the media.  

But there have been serious sides to the great man too, especially while coaching Bacchus Marsh’s Under 16s when the much publicised at the time, young Nathan Prince, copped an elbow, went on to life support and passed away five years ago. The side went on to win the grand-final, with Doug taking the team and the premiership cup to Nathan’s gravesite.

Golf club resort CEO Richard Hogg, who lived in New Zealand before settling in Australia, told Doug he was brought up on rugby and didn’t know who Hawkins was. “So I looked up his record and included in what I saw were two words: ‘larrikin’ and ‘legend’. Well, he’s a larrikin but he’s also a legend,” Richard said.

One more word can be added: loyal. And Doug collected another three votes with his superb delivery last Wednesday night. He predicts the Western Bulldogs will go back to back this year, beating GWS in the big one.

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