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'All for the kids': Golf tourney raises funds to support Rama's youth

'Without this tournament, we wouldn't be able to do it,' says recreation administrator of supporting local youth to play in Little Native Hockey League tourney

The sixth annual Little Native Hockey League (LNHL) charity golf tournament raised approximately $30,000 at Bonaire Golf on Friday afternoon.

The golf tournament helps players represent Rama First Nation at the LNHL year-end tournament in March. It's one of the largest all-native hockey tournaments in Canada with over 200 teams from all over Ontario who attend in Markham.

Kathleen Flemming, the recreation administrator for Rama First Nation, said six teams from Rama were sent to the LNHL tournament last year.

"This golf tournament helps raise funds for their ice time, their registration, hotels, learn-to-skate programs, equipment, and equipment drives," she said. "Without this tournament, we wouldn't be able to do it because it would cost the parents money that they don’t have."

Flemming says the LNHL gives youth the chance to try something new. A lot of the players who take to the ice are doing so for the first time, she explained.

"We have a state-of-the-art arena in Rama," she said. "It's nice to see the kids using it and getting better."

Flemming says the LNHL gives players life skills that help them develop and mature.  

"It teaches them about teamwork," she said. "It teaches them how to win and lose gracefully, how to be committed, and the benefits of practice."

Friday's golf tournament brought 92 golfers and 15 volunteers to Bonaire Golf. It was the most successful LNHL fundraising event to date, Flemming said.

"It's all for the kids," Flemming said. "Everyone cares to provide these opportunities and to give back to the community."

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has donated around 30 complete equipment kits to the LNHL this season.

"It's really nice to have the support from everyone for our kids to play," Flemming said. "Everyone wants the kids to play."

Registration for the LNHL will begin at the end of September for a subsidized fee of just over $100. To register, players require Indian status and should contact Flemming at [email protected]

Flemming gives a special thanks to Muskoka Bay Resort for donating the golf tournament's grand prize of a play-and-stay for each member of the winning foursome.

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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