Friday, 24 April 2009

Benn Barham and some of his fellow European Tour Members recently showed their charitable side when they raised £36,800 for Demelza Hospice Care for Children, which supports youngsters across Kent, East Sussex and South London who are not expected to reach adulthood.

Richard Bland’s team won the charity golf day, held at The London Golf Club in Barham’s native Kent, but the real winners were the 570 youngsters and their families who are cared for by Demelza.

Of the £36,800, which will more than cover the cost of employing one of the hospice’s nurses for a year, £8,000 was raised in an auction to play with defending champion Ross Fisher in The European Open Pro-Am, which will again be played at The London Golf Club from May 28-31.

Other auction prizes included a round of golf with Barham and Ireland’s Paul McGinley at Queenwood Golf Club, which raised £4,000, and a meal with wine for 25 people at a top London restaurant, which was donated by one of The London Golf Club’s members and fetched £5,000.

It was the second such golf day organised and supported by Barham, who helped raise £35,000 for Demelza through last year’s event.    

In addition, the 33 year old raised a further £10,000 through Barham’s Birdie Challenge, in which he and 40 other golf club members donated £1 for every birdie he made in European Tour events.

In 2008, Barham managed a total of five eagles and 245 birdies, 20 of which came at The Celtic Manor Wales Open, where he finished in a tie for fourth.

Barham said: “I’ve been involved with Demelza for a few years now, and they do a fantastic job. I recently spent a couple of hours at one of their hospices in Sittingbourne, and I had a lump in my throat the entire time. So getting together with a few friends for a charity golf day was the least we could do.

“I’d like to thank everyone who made the day such a great success, including my fellow pros, the guys that played with them, and the people who generously donated the prizes for auction, including TaylorMade and Titleist. There are too many to mention, but I must especially thank The London Club’s professional Paul Stuart, who did a great job in pulling everything together.”

Donna Wells, of Demelza, said: “We were thrilled to raise £35,000 last year, but we didn’t expect to get anywhere close this year, because times are tough for a lot of people. So to raise even more was unbelievable, and we’re so grateful to Benn and all of the players, who were really generous with their time. The money raised will make a real difference to the children’s lives.”

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