Nearly £31,000 was raised at the BMW PGA Championship for the designated local charity of the week, Sebastian’s Action Trust.
The £25,000 grant from the Tour Players Foundation, the charitable foundation of The European Tour, plus various fundraising initiatives throughout the week at Wentworth Club will go towards the building of a holiday respite house in Hampshire.
The Sunninghill-based charity was formed in memory of Sebastian Gates, who attended the same school as several children of The European Tour’s Surrey-based members’, including Retief Goosen and Anthony Wall. Sebastian died on Christmas Eve 2003 from a rare form of childhood cancer, and since then his mother Jane Gates has continued fundraising.
Sebastian wanted to create a holiday respite house for children with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses, and that dream is close to becoming a reality with work due to start next month on The Bluebells, which will include two four-bedroom self-catering apartments, to be used by families, and shared on-site leisure facilities.
Last week a cheque for £25,000 was presented to Jane Gates by Goosen and Wall on behalf of the Tour Players Foundation. Both players endorsed the charity’s nomination. The money will cover the cost of a sensory room in the house. Further funds were raised during the Pro-Am at the BMW PGA Championship, at the European Tour Wives Association’s Ladies’ Day and from sales of pin badges and donations.
Mark Roe, Chairman of the Tour Players Foundation, said: “Sebastian’s Action Trust is a very worthy cause and I am delighted with how much has been raised during the BMW PGA Championship week. Thanks must go to all the people who made donations and bought pin badges.
“The generosity of others means that we can give Sebastian’s Action Trust a sum of money which will make a real difference to children’s lives.”
Jane Gates said: “The multi-sensory room in the respite house will offer relief and stimulation to those with problems with their sight, hearing and touch. It will have a soft cushioned floor, mulit-coloured light tubes, textured surfaces and will be a place where massage and other complementary therapies can be enjoyed.
“The generosity of the Tour Players Foundation and the people who donated during the BMW PGA Championship is overwhelming. I cannot thank everyone enough for the funds which will help enormously towards equipping this unique facility which will be called The Bluebells and which will give much-needed crisis breaks to seriously ill children and their families.”
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