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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Pelee Island Winery’s first golf tourney raises over $7,000

- The funds were forwarded to the Parkinson’s Society -

On behalf of the Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario, Tom Coke, Community Development Coordinator of the organization, received a $7,042 donation on Friday afternoon. The donation was made in Elena Saffran’s name (pictured front). Her husband, Tom Saffran, is also pictured with Ron Swift and Chrystie Porrone of Pelee Island Winery. The funds were raised during the local winery’s first golf tournament.  

by Sylene Argent

After talking to fellow co-workers and friends, Pelee Island Winery’s employee Ron Swift realized many local families have been affected by Parkinson’s Disease. So, with the help of dedicated volunteers, he organized the local winery’s first golf tournament, which was held on July 20 at Orchard View Golf Course, to raise funds for the Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario.

  Swift was impressed the first annual golf tournament raised $7,042. The proceeds were donated to the local organization dedicated to assisting individuals and families affected by the disease during an official cheque presentation that took place at the Village at St. Clair Nursing Home (Schlegel Villages) last Friday afternoon.

  Swift, who coordinated the event, thanked everyone who contributed to or supported the golf tournament in some way, including Pelee Island Winery’s President Walter Schmoranz and Financial Controller Pat De Jong. The donation was donated to the Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario on behalf of Elena Saffran, who has battled the disease for 21-years.

  “It is incredible what they donated,” Tom Coke, Community Development Coordinator of the Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario, said during the cheque presentation. “It is powerful when people from different walks of life come together for a common purpose – to raise funds and awareness about Parkinson’s Disease.

  The donation, Coke added, meant a great deal to the Society. The funds will go a long way in helping area families affected by the disease.

  The Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario, he added, offers those battling the disease monthly support meetings locally in Windsor and Leamington, client services, and one-on-one counselling through the London office for those in the early stages, which helps to provide information on what to expect.

  In the Southwestern Ontario area, Coke added, around 10,000 individuals are affected by Parkinson’s Disease.

  The organization is not just a place of employment for Coke as his dad has also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

  “It is a job and passion for me,” he said of working for the Society.

  Coke was impressed Pelee Island Winery’s golf tournament was as successful as it was, especially in its inaugural year.

  “It can only grow,” he said of the tournament. He looks forward to seeing how the event will evolve in the future.


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