Golfers in tutus, getting professionally heckled on the green and men in cheerleading uniforms were just a small part of the one-of-a-kind Emily Brydon Golf Tournament held last Saturday afternoon.
The tournament was all about smiles and laughs on the green, as the foundation raised funds for programs that help support youths in the Elk Valley.
In the past nine years, the tournament has raised and given back $260,000 to benefit children through sports like tennis, gymnastics, ballet and bike camp as well as activities like acting, Girl Guides and camp.
This year, the tournament raised $26,000, and in the past year the foundation put $48,000 back into the community.
“We fund arts, education, sports. It covers everything a child wants to do, but doesn’t have the resources to do,” said Rosemary Brydon, Emily’s mother.
Brydon said that the foundation and the tournament had one of the best years they’ve ever had.
Both the foundation and the tournament were inspired by Fernie local, Emily Brydon, who is a World Cup ski racer and three time Olympian.
“The town supported her and followed her,” said her mom. “She just wanted to give back to the area.”
Between Rosemary and Emily, they’ve done just that by devising a truly unique and fun tournament for charity. They inspire the amusement and originality at each hole.
“It’s a really fun tournament. We have an air pressured tee [participant’s must try to hit a golf ball suspended in the air] and another hole where you have to pay to not wear a brown bag on your head,” said Brydon.
At the Loki Heckler Hole, a team of ‘professional’ hecklers tried to taunt, annoy or otherwise distract tournament golfers from getting their balls down the drive.
“If I’m going to sponsor a hole, we might as well have a lot of fun at someone else’s expense,” said Elevation Showcase owner Lance Edwards who thought of the idea when an injury to his ribs prevented him from participating in the tournament as a golfer.
The result is mischievous laughter as his team members point a leaf blower and dangle feather boas in golfer’s faces, setting off firecrackers, whacking golfers with pool noodles and firing off water guns to bother participants.
“We’ve got tennis balls, we’ve got slingshots, we’re got a chainsaw … We have a pretty good mix and we do everything in our power to make sure someone does not shoot very well,” said Edwards.
Many other participants dressed up for the event. Some coordinated outfits with matching shirts or argyle socks, others went all out, cross-dressing as football players and cheerleaders.