News Local

Blaine golf, concert event launched

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

The second annual Jason Blaine Celebrity Charity Golf Classic was officially launched Oct. 8, 2014, with work well underway to organize the concert and golf event which will be held June 16-17, 2015. Representing the four benefactor organizations are, starting from left Rhodina Turner, acting executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke, Frances Lemke, vice chairwoman of the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation, Matt Bradley, chairman of the Pembroke Petawawa District Community Foundation and Karen Davies, dean of the Algonquin College's waterfront campus.

The second annual Jason Blaine Celebrity Charity Golf Classic was officially launched Oct. 8, 2014, with work well underway to organize the concert and golf event which will be held June 16-17, 2015. Representing the four benefactor organizations are, starting from left Rhodina Turner, acting executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke, Frances Lemke, vice chairwoman of the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation, Matt Bradley, chairman of the Pembroke Petawawa District Community Foundation and Karen Davies, dean of the Algonquin College's waterfront campus.

Planning for the second annual Jason Blaine Celebrity Charity Golf Classic is well underway, as the event expands in 2015.

On Wednesday, during a Thanksgiving luncheon held to thank the major sponsors of the inaugural tournament and concert event which raised $50,000 earlier this year, it was revealed another organization would be benefitting from the June 16-17, 2015 fundraiser, that was started by recording artist Jason Blaine as a way to give back to his home community of Pembroke.

Blaine, in a pre-recorded message sent from his home in Nashville, Tenn., announced that money raised at the upcoming event will be earmarked for Algonquin College's new Waterfront Campus capital campaign, the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke, and the Pembroke-Petawawa District Community Foundation. Joining them this year is the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation's MRI campaign.

In addition, the country star said he will be providing $5,000 to support mental health in Renfrew County. The funds will allow not-for-profit organizations to send up to 33 staff and volunteers to Mental Health First Aid training, a 12-hour certificate course designed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

This program is a first responder training one which provides front-line workers with the ability to support those experiencing mental health crises such as mood, anxiety, substance-related and psychotic disorders, suicidal thoughts and others until professional services can respond.

"We were able to raise $50,000 at our inaugural concert and golf tournament, and we believe we can do better moving forward," Blaine said, noting the event needs the support of everyone to make this happen again.

"I am very grateful for the tremendous community support that the charitable foundation has received to date, and I want to offer a sincere thank you to all of the organizations, businesses and individuals that participated last year and invite them to get involved again in 2015."

"We have our work cut out for us."

The 2015 Jason Blaine Charity concert will be held Tuesday, June 16 at the Pembroke Memorial Centre, and will be followed by a golf tournament the following day on Wednesday, June 17 at the Pembroke Golf Club. Last year's concert and golf day both sold out, and featured leading Canadian country music performers Gord Bamford and Kira Isabella.

Blaine said it is a little premature to announce which artists will be taking part in this year's concert and golf day, as he is still talking with friends of his within the music industry to see who can come out. He also hoped to have a number of sports figures take part as well.

"Stay tuned for more announcements as we get closer to the event," he said.

Blaine grew up in Laurentian Valley and is a graduate of Fellowes High School and the business program at Algonquin College's Pembroke Campus. Since recording his first single in 2003, he has produced several top-10 songs on the Canadian Country music charts and has been the recipient of many awards, including the 2012 Canadian Country Music Association Award for best song of the year, "They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore."

Matt Bradley chairman of the Pembroke Petawawa District Community Foundation, said the organization is very pleased Blaine continues to support its causes, and is excited about the upcoming event.

"Everyone is on board," he said. "I think its going to keep getting bigger and better."

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist

stephen.uhler@sunmedia.ca


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