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Getting in the swing for charity

FOR the second consecutive year, Perth’s business community has raised more than $100,000 to help Western Australians who are deaf-blind to better communicate with their loved ones. The money was raised during the Senses Foundation Charity Golf Day. But with golf days becoming a more popular way of raising money for charities, the pressure is on, Senses fundraising and marketing manager, Pauline Green says, to create a more innovative program each year. The money raised was after costs of staging the event and will be used within the organisation’s specialist communication program. This year, the 11th annual golf event for the organisation, involved a move to the Lake Karrinyup Country Club. The major sponsor for the golf day was Automotive Holdings Group (AHG), which has been involved with Senses for the past five years and won the event this time round. Bronte Howson, chief executive of AHG, said the sponsorship was important for the Senses Foundation to enable it to keep the cost of staging the event to the lowest level possible. Ms Green said the support from AHG had been invaluable, with chairman Bob Branchi involved in organising the day. However, the increasing popularity of events such as the Senses Golf Day has led to a restriction on the numbers that are allowed to be staged in any one year at Lake Karrinyup. This year there are 12 corporate and charity golf days scheduled at the Lake Karrinyup course, according to the club’s general manager, Gary Thomas. “The reality is charity golf days and corporate golf days are becoming more and more popular,” he said. “We also host the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children and the Breast Cancer Foundation.” Other notable charity golf events in Perth include the ACTIV Foundation Corporate Golf Day and Ernst & Young Foodbank Charity Golf Classic. While there are more corporate golf days organised every year, the people attending don’t change much, Ms Green said. With more than 30 four-person teams in the Senses event this year, she said the retention rate from last year was over 80 per cent. For many the main attraction is the support of their charity, but the professionalism of the event and new attractions such as guest speakers and novelty holes can make it a more enjoyable experience and keeps them coming back, Ms Green said. The organisation held another golf day in February, in association with the Australian Steel Institute, and is currently attempting to get another event off the ground, but is looking for a major sponsor. “We try not to cross over into our sponsors’ industries too much,” Ms Green told WA Business News. “For instance we won’t be approaching anyone in the automotive or steel industries for the new one.”

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