When Gene Nutter lined up his shot off the second tee box, during the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation’s 21st Annual Golf for Life Charity Classic on September 5th, he was unaware of what was at stake. It was not until he heard the cheers of the “hole spotters” that he realized his drive had landed in the cup; the first hole-in-one of his golfing “career”.
However, his excitement quickly got ten thousand times better when his teammates pointed out that his efforts had also earned him a $10,000 hole-in-one prize. Gene said, “It took me a few more holes before the reality sunk in.” Hole-in-One sponsor, Knappett Industries, has participated in Golf for Life at Fairwinds Golf Club for almost twenty years, and sponsored a hole-in-one prize for the last 16 years – this was the first time the prize was won. Rocky Ostaffy, Knappett Industries president, had a secondary surprise for Mr. Nutter. Not only was the lucky golfer awarded the $10,000 purse he was given an additional $2,000 to present to the charity of his choice. Mr. Nutter did not have to think long, and chose to direct the bonus cash to the Hospital Foundation.
Ostaffy and Nutter cited individual experiences at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) as their motivation to support the Hospital Foundation’s Golf for Life event. The sold-out tournament raised almost $70,000 for the purchase medical equipment for two new Operating Rooms now under construction at NRGH; this will increase O.R.s from eight to ten. Nearly 16,000 surgical procedures took place at NRGH last year and the additional rooms, set to open in November 2014, will help alleviate the pressure of emergency and urgent cases. The Hospital Foundation is currently raising $1.5 million for the purchase of Operating Room equipment.