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Pandemic forces Onion golf fundraiser to sidelines in 2020

Golfers had a good time at the 2017 edition of The Onion at the Links at Crowbush Cove.
Golfers had a good time at the 2017 edition of The Onion at the Links at Crowbush Cove. - Contributed
MORELL, P.E.I. —

The 12th annual edition of the Brian McGuire Memorial Golf Tournament has been cancelled for this year.

The tournament, a fundraiser for Hospice P.E.I. and provincial palliative care, had been scheduled for Aug. 8 at The Links at Crowbush Cove.

“This announcement should come as no surprise because of the major negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic being felt across this province since early March,” said Bill McGuire, chairman of the host committee. “Due to numerous factors beyond our control, it is impossible to hold the tournament in 2020.”

In a release, the committee cited several key reasons for the cancellation. They included Island golf courses being unable to currently hold tournaments, the chief health officer’s measures to limit large gatherings of people well into late August, Rodd Crowbush remaining closed for regular business operations, most non-essential travel restrictions remaining in place and many P.E.I. businesses, which support the Onion, being forced to close, lay off staff or seeing their sales and production figures plummet.

“We know the decision to cancel comes as a great disappointment for our friends at hospice and palliative care who need funding support more than ever this year,” said McGuire.

The opportunity remains for Onion supporters — if they wish or are able — to donate through e-transfer, which will lessen the funding losses for hospice and palliative care. Donations can be made via e-transfer at theoniongolf@gmail.com. All donations by individuals or companies will receive a tax receipt for 100 per cent of their gift.

The committee has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 this year — without the golf tournament, silent auction and lobster draw.

“Already we have heard from a number of golfers and sponsors who say they intend to continue donating their regular Onion entry fee or sponsorship in 2020. We realize many businesses and individuals are facing tough times, but whatever you can donate in support of the Onion – and hospice and palliative care – is much appreciated,” McGuire said.

The Onion’s two title sponsors — P.E.I. Mussel King and Atlantic Shellfish at Red Head Harbour in Morell — have declared they are back this year to support the Onion in whatever form it should take.

“It’s heartwarming to see that community support is still alive and well in these challenging times when the needs are great and resources are pushed to the limit,” McGuire said. “We continue to place our trust in the generosity and resilience of Islanders.”

The Onion will return on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, at Crowbush. The tournament began in 2009 as a way to keep Brian's memory alive and pay tribute to his sense of community involvement and service.

In early 2002, the Morell native was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which had spread to the bone. He fought the disease for more than five years and never lost his sense of humour despite the pain. He died Aug. 17, 2007, at home in Morell.

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