Once again, the annual Young Guns Charity Golf tournament in Red Deer at Alberta Springs Golf Resort proved how a tournament full of golfers can help so many organizations.

From minor hockey groups to lunch programs, 22 different charities shared the $70 thousand dollars raised.

“It’s an incredible thing with the way that the economy is and to reach $70 thousand dollars over a two-day golf tournament is unbelievable,” said Young Gun’s spokesperson Jared Smyth.

It’s the 15th edition of the tournament which has seen years when far more has come in and some where bottom line was less but the support from the golfers and business sponsors has been strong no matter what, said Smyth.

“They seem to always come out. It’s an amazing thing. It keeps me coming back.”

With 22 groups taking a share, you need to factor in how many people are going to be helped by the cheque each organization received. Places like the Mustard Seed and Lending cupboard reach so many people with their services the numbers are staggering.

“It blows me away as to how much need there is in our community,” said Innisfail Eagle Joe Vandermeer who has been a part of the tournament since day one.

“At first I didn’t know what I was getting into but it’s the best thing that I ever did. I’ve got to meet so many people in the community and to be able to be involved and to raise funds that go back into the community is pretty awesome.”

Smyth echoed those sentiments.

“We kind of put them on the spot with them saying what they are going to do with the money and hearing those stories is awesome. This is why we’re here,” said Smyth.

He says as former professional hockey players they are well connected within the community, so they make the calls and the sponsors step up to the plate to deliver.

“We are very thankful for the Central Alberta businesses that have said yes and they keep coming year after year and we want to get more,” he said.” We want to have that tournament so packed that it’s an eight-hour round because we all know what the money is going towards.”

Vandermeer says it would be great if some of the younger hockey players who have come out of the region, reaching the professional level, would come back to get involved.

“I don’t know if it’s something to get involved after hockey is over but I think you can still be involved while you’re still playing,” he said.

Work has already started for the 16th Annual Young Guns Charity event so get in early if you want to play or be a sponsor. It’s worth the effort to tee it up and reach so many people.