Russell Day attempts a birdie putt at the Vernon Golf and Country Club during the recent Birdies for Bread fundraiser.

Russell Day attempts a birdie putt at the Vernon Golf and Country Club during the recent Birdies for Bread fundraiser.

Youth make birdies for bread

Two quartets of Vernon junior golf enthusiasts literally putted for dough.

Two quartets of Vernon junior golf enthusiasts literally putted for dough.

Spurred on by the terrible famine that has gripped the African country of Somalia, brothers Chris and Matt McEachran-Law organized Birdies For Bread and invited some friends to help raise money for Somalia.

The eight junior golfers combined their love of golf and concern for the people of Somalia and collected pledges per birdies attained over 36 holes of golf.

Playing at the Vernon Golf and Country Club on the Labour Day weekend, the McEachran-Law Birdies For Bread event scored 28 birdies for $1,883 which will be donated to the Red Cross Horn of Africa Relief Fund. And because the golfers met a Sept. 16 deadline to submit donations, the Canadian government matched the funds, so a total of $3,766 was raised through Birdies For Bread.

“We are very happy with the amount of money we raised, as our original goal was $500,” said Chris. “We were amazed by the support and incredible generosity of all who donated. It was an amazing effort from everybody involved, and those in Somalia appreciate everything they get more than any of us can begin to imagine.”

Chris, Matt, Russell Day, Nic Friesen,  Spencer Hewson, Christian Lacasse, Finlay McPhie and Colton Schaper-Kotter were all moved by the support they encountered.

Supporting the fundraiser was Vernon Golf and Country Club head pro Shannon Glenesk, who got on board immediately, opening up tee times for the juniors to play the 36 holes on the Labour Day weekend.

Originally, the McEachran-Laws were going to donate proceeds to a different charity, but when the famine was officially declared, and the news was filled with stories about the devastation in Somalia, the brothers decided to change the target of Birdies For Breads’ proceeds.

“The problem with a disaster like this compared to an earthquake or a tsunami is that the destruction isn’t limited to one event,” said Chris. “ It continues for a long period of time, which makes the rebuilding process much more difficult.”

Because the fundraiser took place on Labour Day weekend, the McEachran-Laws had trouble getting a bigger field. But plans are already in the works for a second annual event in 2012.

“We are definitely looking to make it an annual event and we have already put certain pieces in place for next year,” said Chris.  “We truly hope and believe that we can build on the inaugural event, and make next year and the years to follow even more successful.”

All of the players expressed their thanks to Glenesk, the Vernon Golf and Country Club and to everyone who donated.

“I would like to encourage everybody out there to donate any amount they can as this is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, and so many citizens, millions of them children, are in dire need of aid,” said Chris.